ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research expressed its concern and disappointment over the non-implementation of minimum support prices of sugarcane crop, which was notified by the respective provincial governments for growers during the current season.
The committee, which was chaired by Senator Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah, also noted that the minimum support price of Rs160 per 40kg laid down by the Sindh High Court was also not implemented by the provincial government of Sindh. The meeting observed that although it was a provincial subject after the 18th Amendment the federal government should play its role to protect the farmers’ rights and agriculture development in the country.
The committee anticipated that in view of the prevailing situation the cultivation of sugarcane would be badly affected and growers would shift to other crops, which would create a serious sugar crisis in the country.
The committee recommended the federal and provincial governments for evolving a proper mechanism in order to provide fair price to the farmers for their produce and protect their rights. The meeting also asked the provincial governments to ensure a minimum support price of sugarcane crop through their sugarcane commissioners.
The committee asked for formulating a proper crop policy in order to avoid such a situation as well as making the agriculture sector more profitable and producing resource-efficient crops to fulfil domestic requirements.
Meanwhile, Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan informed the committee that the matter was also taken up in the meeting of the Council of Common Interests, where the provincial governments were directed to ensure implementation of the minimum support price of sugarcane crops during the crushing season.
The minister apprised the meeting that the federal cabinet has approved to give administrative control of the Pakistan Central Committee to Ministry of National Food Security and Research, which could help enhance the cotton crop output in the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 8th, 2018.