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ISLAMABAD: The Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) has directed the Ministry of Water Resources to chalk out a five-year plan in consultation with the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives on water resource development with financing plan, particularly for agriculture sector.

Senior officers from the Pakistan Army shared comprehensive and detailed information regarding the scope and investment potential in agriculture & livestock, mines & minerals, and information technology sectors, respectively.

Agriculture being the biggest contributor to national GDP a detailed briefing was given on Green Pakistan Initiative. It was inaugurated on July 10 2023, with a focus on large scale farming in Bahawalpur, through pivot system (taking 25 percent less water and preserving the resources) and tube wells, making Cholistan Green.

Apex committee of SIFC focuses on efforts to improve business, investment climate

One stop for seeds, machinery, indigenous development of pivot system, part of modernization of farming techniques. The impediment regarding seed registration were highlighted, since over 3000 companies operate in Pakistan whereas only 750 or so in USA.

Fixing of problems related to seed, fertilizer, machinery could enhance growth of cotton and wheat radically. The prospective dividends through LIMS or land on palm were also mentioned. It was emphasized that once land is made even, transmission lines fixed, rural road network expanded, the small farmers would benefit and exports increase.

The Executive Committee of SIFC was informed that presently, KSA imports 1 % UAE imports 3 % and China 2 % of food items from Pakistan. These low volumes can be enhanced manifolds. It, would, however, require efficiently manage flood water and excess rain water. Waste lands all over the country have to be converted green. Collaboration with Spanish company has commenced in irrigation sector.

Further, improvement in livestock shrimp farming in saline water, cage farming could bring improved dividends and create 3 million employment opportunities for small farmers, leading to enhanced exports. These measures were applauded by the chair who stressed that this should be made part of national agenda.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

Comments

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Tariq Qurashi Sep 12, 2023 11:03am
These are all good ideas, but I think one aspect which needs to be focused on is water management. Pakistan is going to become a water scarce country due to climate change and the melting of glaciers. We use 97% of our water in wasteful and inefficient flood irrigation. We must encourage sprinkler, pivot systems, drip irrigation and brick lining of our on-farm irrigation channels. Another area to focus on is commercial fishing with proper trawlers, factory ships and on-board freezers. We have a 200 mile limit, and our local boats rarely venture out beyond 20 miles. According to one report, most of our fish die of old age.
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