ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday stated that food security would be a major challenge for the country in coming years, adding that the government has decided to equip farmers with seeds, research-based information and use of technology to increase production.

Addressing the “National Farmers’ Convention”, here on Thursday, the prime minister said, “Challenge of food security would become national insecurity, if measures were not taken to mend the present course.”

“We have to decide now about the measures to be taken to ensure food security as well as making Pakistan a food exporting country,” he added.

The prime minister said that the government has decided to uplift the small farmers by equipping them with research-based information that which land is suitable for what crop.

We are determined to help the farmers, he said, adding that small farmers would also be given required training to equip them with use of latest techniques and their problems with regard to storage, transportation, and markets (direct access of small farmers to the market) would also be resolved.

This should have been done 74 years ago, he added.

He added that Pakistan is blessed with as many as 12 weathers and could have grown anything to fulfil the needs of the country but lamented that no one has thought about it in the past.

The rural areas are more ridden with poverty, he said, and stated the primary reason behind poverty was that small farmers did not have access to resources.

The present government would help them by providing direct subsidy and loans, he said, adding that there are uncultivated lands in various parts of the country, which would be utilised for growing various crops and thereby to bring about prosperity in the lives of the small farmers.

He said that timely and full payment to the farmers against their crops, sugarcane helped them produce record production in all crops.

The prime minister said that the country is blessed with everything and did not need to take money from anyone.

We can earn more foreign exchange from tourism than the exports.

The prime minister said that soon after independence, the country fell in the grip of “elite capture” and the poor remained neglected in all spheres of life including agriculture.

He said that inclusive development was not a priority after independence, and development of every sector was meant to cater to a very small class of elite.

In agriculture sector, the prime minister said the same thing happened and small farmers had no opportunities in the past.

Earlier, the minister for national food security and research and the special assistant to the prime minister on food security spoke at the convention.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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