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Pakistan is an agricultural country and agriculture is the backbone of the country's economy. The sector is considered the mainstay of economy and provides livelihood for almost 2 out of every 5 Pakistanis. Agriculture also ensures the supply chain of food to the masses. It is, therefore, of paramount importance to focus on agriculture sector to avoid food security issues.

It merits a mention that agriculture sector is faced with multiple issues including water scarcity, low quality seeds and pesticides. Moreover, the locust swarms and climate change, are also emerging threat for the sector as it has become a huge challenge for the crops the same way COVID-19 had become a threat to human life. However, the food availability will be ensured through increase in production of food items.

According to some media reports, the Federal Government is working hard in applying genetic engineering, crop diversification, and biotechnology in agriculture sector to ensure country's food security. Also, the government is committed to doubling the income of the farmers and this can be achieved only if they use technology and opt for crop diversification. There is also a dire need to focus on agricultural research, education, and extension to promote export-focused production and that could not be avoided anymore as it was vital for agro-based industrial development. The universities and research departments may be groomed and advanced technology be applied for the benefit of agriculture. There is no doubt Pakistan is an agro-based country and we should continue to work together towards climate change resilient research, mechanisation in pulses cultivation and processing, improving seed replacement rate to fill the gap of technology adoption in the farming fields. Also, there is a need to take all the required measures to facilitate farmers.

KHAN FARAZ (HAYATABAD, PESHAWAR)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020