Farmers have called to restrict the development of residential societies on agricultural land.
In a joint meeting of Kashtkar Coordination Council (KKC), Anjuman-i-Kashtkaran Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (AKKP) and Kisan Board (KB) held on Wednesday, participants lamented that mushrooming housing societies are devouring agricultural land that may lead to food insecurity in the province, reported Dawn.
Alam Sher Gohati, general secretary of AKKP said that while they acknowledge the need of building more housing units given the population explosion, Government must come up with a policy to conserve agricultural land. KB Swabi President Khalid Khan proposed to limit their development on barren lands and conserve fertile agricultural land.
Participants stated that the province is already unable to meet its wheat needs as housing societies are curtailing agricultural productivity and the province might soon become entirely dependent on other provinces to ensure food security.
Liaqat Yousafzai, another grower stated that agriculture is responsible for employing 70 percent of the rural population, but the rapid growth of housing societies is badly impacting their income.
Farmers also asked the tobacco purchasing companies to fix the per kilogram rate in another meeting held on the same day, to enable farmers to grow accordingly and avoid surplus. They also asked for clarity in firms’ pricing strategy so farmers can sell their products without any issues.
Wahid Zaman, a Maneri Bala region grower, claimed that companies are breaking their purchasing commitments. In this regard, he urged companies to stop exploitation in the tobacco sector.