ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said Pakistan could greatly benefit from Chinese expertise in agriculture and opined that strengthening cooperation in the sector would be one of the priority agenda of his forthcoming visit to China.
Chairing a meeting on agriculture here at the PM Office, he was informed the country’s agriculture had been stagnant since past many decades and little work was done to assist farmers in crop diversification, enhancement of yield and mechanisation of agriculture sector.
It was informed that research was totally ignored, resulting in overall deterioration of the sector, while low agricultural output resulted in greater reliance on import, leading to a soaring import bill.
Expressing concern over the existing state of affairs, the prime minister said boosting agricultural sector was a major plank of agenda of the PTI government. He said there was a need to support farmers and help them in adopting best practices along with requisite support in provision of finances and mechanisation process.
He was further informed the existing trend could be effectively checked and reversed with short-term measures and work on long-term strategy could be started immediately with concerted efforts of all stakeholders.
He was also given a detailed briefing on the existing situation vis-a-vis wheat, rice and sugarcane crop along with a comparative analysis with the neighbouring countries and other producers with regards to production, exports and imports.
The prime minister was further briefed that various projects are being planned to increase crop yield and productivity, to shift focus towards exports and encouraging crop diversification.
The projects include increase in yields of major crops and adoption of oil seeds; optimum utilisation of water resources, harnessing untapped potential of fisheries, restructuring of livestock business model, transforming agriculture produce markets and increasing access to finance for the farmers.
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