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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday launched "Kisan Portal" (a portal for farmers) to address their grievances and problems, saying that his government wanted to increase productivity to deal with the pressure on exchange rate and "imported inflation".

Addressing the launching ceremony, Prime Minister Imran Khan said there was 50 percent increase in import bill during a year and consequently, there was pressure on rupee against the dollar primarily because of import of wheat, sugar, and canola oil, when their prices were at a historic high in the international market.

However, he said that pressure on rupee is temporary.

Additionally, he said that the government wanted to increase the production of all these commodities and agriculture has been included in the CPEC, and modern techniques are being introduced.

"We are required to increase production in proportion to the population increase," he said.

The premier said that the primary objective to launch this portal is to provide voice to the small farmers as working class and farmers not only work but also face oppression.

Kisan Portal to give voice to small farmers: PM Imran

He said that more than 90 percent farmers are small ones who face many difficulties and their voices are not heard in the power corridor. “As their voices are not heard, so they endure oppression,” he added.

The prime minister said that small prosperity of the farmers would lead to the prosperity of the whole country.

The premier added that Kisan Portal would be the voice of small farmers, whoever approached the Kisan Portal, his grievances would reach directly to the chief secretary and he would be made aware of the availability of water and other issues and this would be ensured.

“No powerful person will oppress him because false cases are made against small farmers,” the PM said.

The prime minister said that the government has been making the efforts to uplift the small farmers and wanted to ensure that their voices are heard in the power corridors.

He said that without research and seeds development, much-needed production of agriculture sector cannot increase.

Therefore, he said that it is important to help the small farmers because all the research shows that the small farmers face the most difficulties and the government plan to facilitate them in every way for their development.

He regretted that despite considerable availability of livestock, the country has been importing powder milk.

The premier said that in the past farmers were not getting full price of their crops from the sugar mills and deductions were being made.

The present government decided to ensure full value of their sugarcane crops to the farmers and resultantly as farmers' incomes have increased, so have their yields.

PM reaffirms increased agri output commitment

The prime minister said that in the past, research was being done by the Agricultural University Faisalabad; however, reduction in funding for research had negative impact on the research.

The prime minister said that to address the water issue, after 50 years, for the first time 10 dams are being constructed.

The prime minister said that attention was being paid to provide loans to the farmers and on the Kisan card, direct subsidy would be provided to the small farmers for fertilisers, pesticides, and other products.

The government would also help farmers in providing crop insurance.

The Prime Minister's Office said a total of 123 dashboards have been set up in the country (federal and provincial levels) under the Kisan Portal.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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