ISLAMABAD: A Businessmen Panel leader has said that in order to improve Pakistan’s economy, agriculture reforms were needed.
“We need to look at reforms in agriculture to improve our productivity and change the type of agricultural produce we make,” said Secretary General (Federal) of The Businessmen Panel for FPCCI, Ahmad Jawad, in a statement today.
He highlighted the need to have a long-term strategy that would reduce the vulnerability of the farming community and accelerate agriculture development.
He said agriculture reforms, reducing bank interest rate and credit availability to micro, small and medium enterprises would drive Pakistan’s economic growth at optimum level.
However, he highlighted that farm loan waivers were not a sustainable solution but only temporary patch work to ease farmers’ distress. “It only gives immediate relief.”
Jawad said the government continuously reiterated that the fiscal prudence would continue, but it needed to remove pressure from rural and agriculture sectors.
He said public and private sector should come together to facilitate the adoption of efficient agriculture extension system for a robust agricultural growth.
Although Public Private Partnership (PPP) models do exist in agriculture extension, he opined that PPP mode could still be explored to its full potential.
There is a major gap in the availability of the extension agents for the farmers, he said. It is here by advised that the private sector can come forward and plug in the gap.
He also stressed upon the need to use technology and tools with agro-eco region-based land use and weather-based Agro Met advisory services to help farmers and reduce weather-related losses.
Similarly dissemination of information under extreme weather condition plays a vital role in minimizing crop losses. A participatory, cross-disciplinary approach to delivering climate and weather information and enhancing the awareness of information user group is also needed, Jawad said.
The BMP official emphasised that the government should cut interest rates and adopt consistent policies for the export of agricultural related produce to enable Pakistani exporters to take advantage of the current US-China trade war.