January 09, 2017
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former Provincial Minister Mian Zahid Hussain said that agricultural sector is considered backbone of the economy but not getting due attention since long.
Inputs are being increased to boost production which is increasing cost of doing business while neglect continue to reduce share of agriculture in the GDP, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that it is next to impossible to ensure national development while keeping agricultural development on the backburner.
He said that agriculture is no more the largest sector of the economy but it continue, to provide jobs to the majority of the labour.
Agriculture growth in the last eight years has remained at the average of 2.1 percent while it has dipped to 1.6 percent which proves apathy of the policymakers, he added.
The business leader said that reduced production is contributing to poverty in the rural areas and widening gulf between rich and poor.
Policies of the government continue to push farmers to prefer low cost crops over high value crops, he said, adding that different packages announced for the planters have failed to achieve desired results.
Mian Zahid Hussain further said that Pakistan is a notable country in milk production; the number of cattle head is increasing but productivity of milk, beef and mutton is stagnant since long.
Livestock is very important for poverty reduction, human health and food security but majority of people engaged in this business are away from the formal economy which has barred their development.