Way forward: ‘Corporate farming to help increase efficiency’

Food security at risk from increasing population.


Our Correspondent October 08, 2013
“Around 26 million tonnes of wheat is the projected requirement for food in 2013...the demand is expected to rise to 34 million for 250 million population in 2050,” says Rana Sanaullah. PHOTO: FILE

FAISALABAD:


Agriculture experts and farmers’ associations need to collaborate to tackle food security problems and issues pertaining to land holdings and land reforms, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said at a meeting with agriculture experts at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad on Sunday.


University’s Vice Chancellor Iqrar Ahmad Khan and Institute of Economic Resources Director Muhammad Ashfaq presented an analysis of land holdings and reforms in the country.

Sanaullah said that the government was committed to solving the issues faced by farmers in the province. “That is a challenge as land for agriculture is decreasing while the population keeps increasing,” he said.

There must be concerted efforts to increase per acre yield, he said.  Sanaullah requested participants of the meeting to bring the problems faced by farmers to the government’s notice so they could solve them on priority.

Farmers’ Associates Pakistan President Tariq Bucha and executive members Afaq Tawana, Hamid Malhi and MNA Babar Shahbaz also attended the meeting.

Vice Chancellor Khan said that 28 per cent of the farms in the country were smaller than two hectares of land in 1972. The figure was now 65 per cent.

He said 3.2 per cent farms were larger than 20 hectares in 1972 but that figure had now dropped to 1.1.

“Around 26 million tonnes of wheat is the projected requirement for food in 2013...the demand is expected to rise to 34 million for 250 million population in 2050,” said Sanaullah.

He said there was a dire need for efforts to secure food for the increasing population. He stressed the importance of promoting Corporate Agriculture Farming (CAF).

“This will help increase the efficiency of food production and increase profits through a combination of various agricultural activities under a single management,” said the minister.

He said that small scale farmers comprised 85 per cent of the farming community.

Dr Muhammad Ashfaq said that Corporate Agriculture Farming would help small farmers improve efficiency. Cooperative farming was the way forward to improve production, he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 9th, 2013.

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