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ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel on Tuesday observed that low yields, fragmented market segment, lack of access to competitive markets and high production cost hindered the modernisation of the agriculture sector and major challenges in achieving growth target.

The sub-committee of the National Assembly Special Committee on Agricultural Products met Shandana Gulzar in the chair here on Tuesday.

The committee envisaged agriculture growth rate of 7.5 percent by fiscal year 2027-28 led and sustained by producer-owned integrated market based value chains that incentivize producers to continue investing in modern and climate-smart production technologies, expansion of cultivated land area and value-added activities.

The growth strategy was presented by the sub-committee of the National Assembly Special Committee on Agricultural Products which is constituted by the speaker National Assembly.

The sub-committee met to discuss the (i) presentation of the sub-committee’s proposed agricultural growth strategy; (ii) discussion on agriculture specific new initiatives of government of Gilgit-Baltistan and their input and recommendations.

The meeting was part of the process to consult provinces take their input and bridge gaps. The committee observed that the biggest issue in agriculture is low productivity.

Our agricultural growth target is 7.5 percent by 2027-28, said committee convener, adding that in addition to the growth rate, they also have to consider quality.

“We have to do value addition by processing and branding of agricultural products,” the committee recommended. Gilgit-Baltistan Agriculture Department informed the committee about their production. They recommended that farmers needed to be supported. They further recommended for value addition to increase productivity and income.

An official also noted disintegration in research institutions as major hindrances to agriculture growth.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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