(July 03, 2020)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, FPCCI’s Businessmen Panel Sr. Vice Chairman, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday demanded steps to revive the agriculture sector.
The virus has spared this important sector as compared to industry and services etc. which has increased its share in GDP from the industrial sector, he said.
Livestock which is 60 percent of the agriculture sector has surpassed all major and medium industries but locust has minimized chances for rapid growth, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that country is awaiting a livestock census since the last fifteen years which should be conducted without delay.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that locust has damaged cotton, sugar and other crops and a second wave is possible while the federal and provincial governments have failed to decide jurisdiction.
The demand for cotton witnessed a steep fall during the last fiscal due to lockdown and ginners still have 1.5 million unsold bales which will act as disincentive for growers.
The former minister noted we are missing cotton target for years while the last year’s target will be missed by around seven million bales which will hurt the economy therefore the provision of seed, fertilizer, water, insecticides should be ensured while reducing federal and provincial taxes.
Government should consider support price for cotton and increase allocation for crop and livestock insurance and credit guarantee schemes from the current Rs1.6 billion.
He said that wheat plays the most important role in the national food security but it’s per acre yield could not be improved during the last eleven years while the population continues to explode.