KARACHI: Vice President of Pakistan Businesses Forum (PBF), Ahmed Jawad has demanded reforms in agriculture sector to uplift its share in country's GDP, as small farmers have a right to seeks a decent livelihood, to challenge unfair and antiquated governmental policies and to play a fuller role in agriculture trade and in protecting biodiversity and environment in a statement on Thursday.
Ahmad Jawad said Pakistan with the assistance of China should also grow non-traditional products, under the agricultural and industrial cooperation information platform (AICP) between two countries, as China's progress in the agriculture sector was worth emulating for developing countries. Despite several attempts to invest in the drip irrigation system, we still lagged behind. "Now is the time to analyze why has the system become a success throughout the world and not in Pakistan.
Similarly there are six main areas of concern that require critical attention through AICP. In each area, seeking foreign funds and foreign expertise is a must.
First, our food crop yields are low and food processing industries lag behind in value addition. Second, livestock productivity is low and meat processing industry is at a nascent stage. Third, fields, farms and orchards producing vegetables, pulses, oilseeds and fruits are yet to be organized and maintained in line with the national requirement.
Fourth, fisheries and poultry sectors suffer from lack of modern farming and processing practices. Fifth, there is a need to ensure food security for a large and growing population. And sixth, country may increases the export of agricultural commodities to earn foreign exchange after taking care of growing local demand.
In this regard PBF official recommended the finance and revenue division to provide fiscal incentives to the farmers and amendments in the banking companies' ordinance to facilitate payments of loans to the farmers by the banks including ZTBL.
Further, Jawad has urged the Pakistan Customs and Commerce Ministry officials to arrange specials arrangements for the exports of kinnows to China. He said last year Pakistani kinnows shipped to China with little quantity, however the prices up to 18 times high which was an excellent indicator, as China is a market for a minimum 100,000 tons of Pakistani kinnows due to their higher demand of consumption and it totally depends how we penetrate. He said Kinnow (Mandarin) have always been considered as a traditional symbol of good fortune in China. This is mainly because the word orange, when spoke in mandarin, sounds similar to the word 'wealth'. The orange hue of the fruit is also said to symbolize 'gold' which makes it a very auspicious fruit.
He suggested that Chinese authorities must allow Pakistani fruits on their all entry points, so that horticulture trade may facilitate in a bigger volumes; as the protocol on phytosanitary requirements for the export of citrus fruit from Pakistan to China was signed 15 years ago on April 5, 2005 between General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of People's Republic of China, now merged into the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China and Ministry of National Food Security (MNFSR).
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021