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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, on Thursday, said the economy of the country is growing rapidly despite corona pandemic due to effective policies of the government.

Addressing a news conference along with Food Minister Syed Fakhar Imam, he said it is expected that the country will continue its GDP growth with five percent during this fiscal year.

He said the sales of tractors, vehicles, and other agricultural machinery has been increased. Speaking on the occasion, the food minister said the country has witnessed a record agri-production.

Standard agricultural education in the country has been focused upon, he said, adding there is a need to focus on standard research and technical training.

The minister said a record production in four major crops including wheat, cotton, rice and sugarcane had been witnessed, which would earn billions of dollars in foreign exchange for the country, besides generating additional income of around Rs399 billion for farmers.

The production of maize also witnessed increase, though comparatively little, he added.

He said that the production of wheat was increased by 2.2 million tons to 27.5 million tons. The minister said the production of cotton crops was expected to reach to nine million bales as compared to seven million bales of last year.

He further said the rice crop production was recorded as nine million tons and there were also two million tons carry forward stock. He said the country is in a position to export around eight million tons as local consumption of rice is 3.5 million tons. The maize production also witnessed a little increase and reached nine million tons from 8.9 million tons.

The minister said the sugarcane production is expected to grow from 81 million tons to 89 million tons. He lauded efforts of provincial governments, particularly, Punjab for this achievement and commended farmers for playing their role in achieving this milestone.

The minister said improving quality of life of the common man was among top priorities of the government. He said that the government was rigorously working on promotion of agriculture sector, adding it also wanted to enhance planning and development activities in the sector. The minister underlined the need for increasing the milk processing capacity.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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