Government of Sindh is planning to increase financial access for the agriculture sector. In order to qualify for loans from private banks, the agricultural output from farmers will be considered as collateral.
This was disclosed by Chairperson Sindh Board of Investment, Naheed Memon, in a conference held at a local hotel in Karachi.
Valued Less Than Residential Plots
Naheed Memon informed the audience that banks are reluctant to lend money to the agriculture sector. They value thousands of acres of village land at less than what a 2 thousand square foot plot at Chundrigar Road would cost. The land itself is worth millions due to its potential to produce agricultural products.
“Sindh Government will build modern grain storage facilities through public private partnership in rural areas of province. Farmers will store their product in these facilities and the storage slip will be used as collateral. On this slip banks can provide finance to farmers.” Naheed added.
She further said that in first phase rice will be used as collateral. With time, grain and other agri products will be added to this scheme.
Grain Storage Facility
According to Naheed, this will help maintain the supply of grain and enable stable prices. This will also encourage the farmers to bring variety to their farm produce because they will be able to earn more. This storage ability will help modernize the agriculture business. She said,
60 percent of our fruits and vegetables are wasted due to non availability of cold storage. There is a huge demand and business potential but investors are not looking to venture outside Karachi.
Talking about the positive side of Pakistan’s economy, Ms. Naheed said that Pakistani middle class consists of more than 40 million people. This makes it the 10th biggest middle class population (by country) in the world.
Bigger population means a larger consumer market, but Pakistan still cannot become an industrialize nation. She added:
Pakistan missed the opportunity to become an industrial nation because our country was left behind in technology and skilled human labor development. Due to our strategic location we can benefit by becoming the central trading route and forming a trade corridor under China’s One Belt One Road program. For faster development Pakistan needs to develop E-commerce and logistics industry.