Islamabad, August 20, 2015 (PPI-OT):Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan presided over annual consultative meeting on wheat crop 2015-16 organized by Agriculture Policy Institute. The agenda was to formulate wheat support price policy under the light of field surveys conducted by API and feedback from the stakeholders.
The Federal Minister in his inaugural address urged the stakeholders that the prime focus of the policy should be the cost of production not subsidy, as subsidy is not a remedy for the prevailing conditions. The minister stated that farmers are under chronic stress due to higher cost of production and low prices in international market.
Higher cost of production makes the agricultural produce less competitive. The current trend is forecasted to prevail in the coming years as well. It is an ill omen for the farmers, so its high time to streamline our priorities and to devise a strategy addressing the core issue that is higher cost of production and low yield.
The minister further added that cropping patterns should be reviewed and conventional agricultural practices need to be replaced with modern agricultural technology. The federal minister stressed upon provincial authorities to pay attention to agriculture extension, marketing and branding of agricultural produce. The minister reiterated that agriculture is the backbone of the economy, despite decline in GDP share from 25% (2000-01) to 20% (2014-2015).
The minister urged all the participants to come up with comprehensive guidelines, addressing all the issues with focus on higher cost of production, low yield, subsidy mechanism, agricultural loans and competitiveness of agri produce. Secretary NFSR, JS (IC), provincial representatives, API officials, farmers and other stakeholders attended the meeting.
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