Lahore, February 14, 2018 (PPI-OT): Use of modern techniques and technologies in Agriculture is the need of the hour which carries equal significance for both the businessmen and the men of science and technology. It was upshot of the speeches delivered at a seminar on “High Value Agriculture” here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid, Ceo Yuksel Seeds, Turkey Mr. Yaqub Yuksel, Convener LCCI Standing Committee on Mechanized and High Value Agriculture Mian Shafqat Ali, Ex-vice Chancellor Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmed, Dr. Khawaja Asif, Mian Shaukat Ali, Faisal Iqbal Sheikh and Naeem Hanif also spoke on the occasion.
The experts said that there is a dire need for reforms in agriculture sector and addition in cropped area as we cannot afford to stay where we are today in terms of cropped areas and per hectare yield because we are already running well short of per capita food availability. They said that yield gap in the four major crops of Pakistan is three times from the best producers in the world such as China and Egypt. They said that low yield has contributed to the poverty in rural areas besides forcing country to import agriculture produces to feed its population.
The LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid said that the agriculture sector of Pakistan continues to be the single largest and dominant driving force for growth which contributes almost 19.5% in Gross Domestic Product. It is the main source of livelihood for 42.3% of total labour force despite this fact that agriculture mechanization in Pakistan is very limited.
He said that area under cultivation for important crops account for 23.85% of the value added in overall agriculture. Wheat accounts for 9.6% of the total value added in agriculture and cotton production was 10.67 million bales. For the sake of increasing the share of agriculture sector in GDP, the present area of cultivation has to be increased on war-footing basis.
Malik Tahir Javaid said that due to lack of technology usage in agriculture sector, we face the problem of crops yields gaps. The average yields production in the agriculture sector of Pakistan is far below the level of those countries that use the technology in their agriculture sector. The level of yields of different crops is 50% to 83% lower than the average of other countries of the world.
He said that the prospects of Pakistan’s economic prosperity heavily depend on the performance of agriculture sector. It has to be evaluated that government is giving subsidy to farmers at various stages of purchasing fertilizers, pesticides, seeds as well as selling their output at support prices but still this sector has not succeeded in enhancing the level of productivity.
He said that in the present scenario of water scarcity, the sustainable food security of Pakistan has to be ensured by way of adopting new techniques. There are many developing countries like Pakistan which are encouraging corporate farming and in parallel to that they are fostering high value agriculture that include vertical farming, hydroponics farming, aquaponics farming and arctic farming etc. If government helps the farmers in acquiring these technologies at affordable prices then it is highly likely that new employment opportunities will be created and the productivity will also increase.
Mian Shaukat Ali said that Chamber of Commerce and Industry plays and important role to promote Agriculture sector of any country. All Chambers of Commerce and industry of Pakistan should pay attention to agriculture so that they can highly contribute in development of this sector.He said that another problem of our agricultural sector is lack of agricultural graduates or their non-seriousness towards agricultural developments. If they work for the development of this sector seriously it would be beneficial for the country.
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Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan