The federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam, recently attended and addressed the sixth meeting of the Ministers of the SCO member states on agriculture issues.
He said that agriculture has been given utmost importance under Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan’s leadership and that the current government aims to transform Pakistan’s agriculture sector through mechanization and research.
Minister Imam said that there are approximately 8.4 million farms in Pakistan that will get direct subsidies through the Kisan Card Scheme that has been launched by the PM, and added that the government wants to eliminate the role of the middleman and directly benefit the end farmer. He added that the PM envisages doubling the income of the farmers who contribute approximately 19 percent to Pakistan’s GDP.
He also remarked that Pakistan is one of the most adversely affected countries in the world due to climate change and that the pattern of its rainfall has significantly changed, which has drastically affected its agriculture output. He added that two million cotton bales in Sindh were destroyed because of irregular rainfall.
The minister highlighted that the current government has been extremely successful in thwarting locust infestations and the COVID-19 pandemic.
He further revealed that the government aims to improve the on-farm water management through techniques such as sprinklers and the drip irrigation system so that the utilization of limited water resources may be maximized.
He urged the SCO members to increase cooperation and exchanges in agricultural research so that Pakistan may transform its agricultural sector similar to those of the developed countries.