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KARACHI: Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan and President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), Mian Zahid Hussain has said that the government should take notice of the increase in DAP and urea prices, as it would affect the production of wheat and tomatoes.

In various parts of Punjab, instead of Rs 7,300, DAP is being sold at Rs 8,500 to Rs 10,000 while urea which is supposed to be sold at the rate of Rs 1,760 per bag is available at Rs 2,200 to Rs 2,500.

The government should take immediate steps to curb the black marketing of DAP and urea. He noted that the government provides a subsidy of Rs 1000 per sack to the farmers but due to bureaucratic problems, it is very difficult for the farmers to get it, so they sell the voucher for Rs 300 to the agents.

He lauded the decision of the Prime Minister Imran Khan to focus on welfare of small farmers.

He said that the decision of the Prime Minister to modernize the agriculture sector is commendable, which included subsidies and soft loans for purchase of fertilizer, seeds, and pesticides.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that agriculture can never be developed on modern lines unless the government starts supporting small farmers. He said that there is a fear of water shortage for the Rabi crop, which will be detrimental to the farmers and for the food security.

Therefore, strict measures should be taken against the theft of water from canals while farmers should be freed from loan sharks, middlemen, and hoarders, he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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