FAISALABAD: Kitchen gardening, in-house farming and commercial farming are imperative to overcome the looming food security challenge. Use of advanced technologies should be promoted for maximum agri-production, said Mrs Rubina Amjad, the president of Faisalabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FWCCI).
She was addressing participants of the Agri-Tech Expo 2023, organised by the FWCCI at the FCCI Auditorium here.
She said that agriculture has 23 percent share in GDP; 38.5 percent labour is directly linked with agriculture and 70 percent population is dependent on agriculture sector. She said that China has only available 10 percent of arable land but produces 25% of world grain output.
She said that out of total agriculture area of 79.6 million hectares in Pakistan, only 22.1 million hectares is arable land though urbanization and colonization is eradicating the cultivable area. She said still huge agriculture land is available.
She said that according to UN Report, food prices were recorded highest in 2022 and State Bank of Pakistan has warned of a food crisis owing to increased population and global warming. She said that agriculture was static at 3.9% for the last three years and Pakistan is importing wheat of US$ 9 billion for the last two years despite being the 10th largest wheat producer in the world.
She said the only way forward is to channelize the existing potential of kitchen gardening, in-house and commercial farming with the help of advanced technologies as Tunnel Farming, Drip Irrigation and quality seeds.
She said that we have offered special desks to the potential food scientists/ graduates to deal with the food security challenge and FWCCI will not charge any rent for the first three months from them. She said that women have major stake in the rural economy and emphasized urban women to shoulder in shoulder for producing food through innovative approach of Kitchen Gardening which will not only provide fresh vegetables to family but also they can earn income for selling of surplus produce. She said that an exclusive website has been developed in this context where agri-technocrats would be available for any queries and technical guidance instantly.
Mian Muhammad Adrees, Chief Guest and Group Leader National Group, appreciated this unique and innovative approach of FWCCI President by organizing Agri-Tech 2023 Expo. He said in rural economy, women have 74% contribution and women at urban areas should also devote to take benefit of agriculture potential. He said that throughout world, vegetables are even grown in small pots. He said that urban women should come forward to overcome the rising food inflation He said that without serious participation of women, Pakistan economy cannot be developed.
Imran Khaliq, Senior Executive Agri Services, FFC, Dr. Naveed, Associate Professor, Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture, Nawaz Khan Maken, Director General, Ayub Agriculture Research Institute, Hassan Rana, CEO Green Pak, Ms. Sapna Obrey, Chairperson Agriculture Committee, Ms. Farwa Shoaib Assistant Variety Development Manager, Green Gold Pvt. Ltd, Faisalabad took part in the panel discussion. Shields were presented to them by President FWCCI.
Vote of Thank was offered by Mrs. Qurat ul Ain, Chairperson Special Initiatives while a large number of women participated in the Expo.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023