Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders on Thursday hailed enhanced focus of the government on agriculture sector which is the backbone of the economy.
Agriculture absorbs the majority of the workforce while around 80 exports of Pakistan are linked to this sector, said Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Patron Shahid Rasheed Butt.
Talking to IWCCI Standing Committee on Trade and Industry Chairman Tabassum Anwar said that development of agriculture sector is linked to the prosperity of a farmer which should be the top priority.
Shahid Rasheed Butt said that 69 per cent of cultivable land is located in Punjab where 80 per cent cotton, 63 per cent sugar cane, surplus wheat and rice and other products are produced, therefore, this province should get extra attention of the policymakers.
He said that the agricultural production is not satisfactory despite the Rs 341 billion farmers’ package announced by the prime minister in November last year, while the decisions taken in the recent budget are laudable.
The exports of rice, cotton and textiles continue to fall while low commodity prices and the collapse of the cotton crop has resulted in reduced demand for tractors by 47 per cent which is alarming.
The veteran business leader also lauded the recently announced cut in the power tariff for the farmers terming it a step in the right direction.
Agricultural development is also linked to reduced input prices, quality seed and pesticides, and loans for which we lack a transparent and effective system putting growers at the mercy of middlemen, he said.
At the occasion, Tabassum Anwar said that the quality of life of planters should be improved with intervention to boost the share of agriculture in GDP, which is hovering around 22 per cent so that food security situation can be improved.