Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam has announced that a state of the art research center will be established to promote organic farming in the country, that would provide chemical-free food to the people besides a number of other benefits including clean environment and better land fertility.
Participating in the budget debate, he said that agro-economic development depends on structural reforms and agriculture sector development can only be achieved by revamping farming technology, reorienting research, transfer of technology, and promoting organic farming.
Organic farming had been made on 172 million acre land across the world and this type of farming would also be helpful for the environment. We have to take steps for encouraging and attracting people to start organic farming in the country.
Fakhar Imam also vowed to develop the agriculture sector on scientific lines in order to enhance the yield of major crops including wheat, cotton, and rice.
He said that China has agreed to transfer technology in the agriculture sector under the second phase of the China-Economic-Pakistan-Corridor.
The minister added that Pakistan will not require loans from the IMF and Asian Development Bank if it manages to enhance the cotton production from the current 9 million bales to 18 million bales. He is of the view that value addition can increase the exports of the country.
He said that it is unfortunate the industry had not been given priority by the previous governments. “With the focus of value addition, the country’s export can be enhanced” he added.
Research is also required to enhance per acre yield of wheat crops, and there is a chance that the country may not achieve the set target of wheat production.
He said that the government has now allowed the private sector to import wheat to stabilize its price in the market.
The government has announced billions of rupees as an aid to fight the locust outbreak that threatens food security in the country. The minister said that aircraft had also been arranged to spray in the affected areas. Pakistan Army has established a center to deal with locust in the country.