FAISALABAD. Domestic production of hybrid seeds could give a quantum jump to the agriculture yield in addition to weeding out the rural poverty, said Mr. Atif Munir Sheikh, President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI).
Addressing the first meeting of the FCCI Standing Committee on Seeds, he hoped that this standing committee will give tangible proposals to make Pakistan self-reliant in food production and enabling FCCI to take up these issues with the Provincial and Federal Government for their immediate resolution.
Earlier Haji Gulzar Ahmad Chairman FCCI standing committee on seeds said that the share of agriculture in GDP is around 19% while it was also providing jobs to the 48% workforce. He expressed concern over the hefty import of food items and said that it is alarming for an agrarian economy. He said that we must take fundamental steps to give a quantum jump to our per acre yield in addition to promoting a culture of value addition in this sector. Identifying the problems faced by this sector, he said that low per acre yield, menace of salinity and water logging, insufficient supply of canal water, in appropriate agriculture research, wrong rotation pattern of different crops and century old techniques of tillage are major causes of decline in the agriculture sector. He further said that non profitability particularly for small land holders has forced farmers to leave this profession and migrate to cities to earn their livelihood. He said that from net exporters Pakistan has become net importer of food items due to the lack of compensation in case of natural calamities, attack of diseases and due to different political reasons. He said that the farmers are also denied easy access to the capital to enhance their business. He urged upon the Government to give easy and cheap loans to the farmers in addition to undertaking mega projects for the reclamation of saline and water-logged lands. Similarly efficient use of available water resources should also be promoted in addition to convincing farmers to cultivate high yielding and disease resistant varieties of crops. He also demanded an announcement of minimum purchase price of their commodities well ahead of the sowing season.
Later Vice Chairman Tariq Aziz offered vote of thanks while it was also attended by Adeem Shehzad, Mohammad Ashraf, Adil Omar, Khurram Abbas, Mohammad Bilal Zafar, Faisal Sajjad, Asif Mushtaq, Shehzad Saleem, Shabbir Hussain and Ghulam Abbas.