- Value-addition of agricultural products, important for development of sector : Minister
Value-addition Of Agricultural Products, Important For Development Of Sector : Minister
Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan Wednesday said that agricultural sector has tremendous potential and stressed the need to facilitate farmers and encourage value addition to agricultural products to make it more profitable
Chairing the 12th meeting of the Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA), the minister termed the agriculture sector as back-bone of economy and said "We need to adopt modern technologies, liberal marketing strategies and investor friendly policies to reap the real potential of this area." He said that FCA provided an important platform for the Federation to formulate a cohesive agricultural planning in consultation with all the stakeholders and strategic recommendations from this forum would help in finding solutions of the problems, faced by resource-poor farmers.
The minister at the outset reiterated the government's commitment to facilitate farmers and enhance domestic agricultural production through introducing modern machinery, improved quality seeds, latest technologies and trainings.
The minister said that government was fully cognizant of the importance of agriculture based economic growth for micro-economic stability and development of the country and committed to create enabling environment for more investment along the value-chain of various agricultural products.
He said that it also envisaged enhancing farm profitability and competitiveness through realizing the existing productivity potential of various crops, livestock and horticulture.
He said that high-end markets were demanding that the agro-product should be exported from quarantine pest-free zones while the issue of pesticides maximum residual limit was also arising in export from these markets.
Later the meeting was given a detailed review of Rabi crops 2018-19 and production plan of Kharif crop 2019-20.
The meeting was also informed that total estimated gram production for the year 2018-19 had been reported at 438.97 thousand tons from an area of 943.74 thousand hectares which reflects the increase of 35.74 percent over the last year.
The FCA further was informed that in 2018-19 Lentil had an area of 12.44 thousand hectares with the total production of 6.49 thousand tons which reflected the increase of 2.38 percent over the last year. However the decrease in area over the last year was due to the shifting of the area toward wheat crop.
The committee was told that in 2018-19 potato had an area of 188.08 thousand hectares with the total expected production of 4820.15 thousand tons which showed the increase of 8.06 percent whereas increase in area was 1.62 percent over the last year.
The representatives of the Pakistan Metrological Department briefed the committee about the facilities being provided by the Met office to the farmers.
The committee recommends that the weather advisory should be providedtimely to the farmers so they can take precautionary measures to avoidany loss.