It is crucial to adapt modern agricultural techniques to increase per acre production and alleviate poverty and hunger, said Punjab Agriculture Minister Naeem Akhtar Khan Bhabha.
He was speaking at the concluding session of an international entomological congress organised by the Department of Entomology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF) on Saturday.
“The government was determined to uplift the agricultural sector which is backbone of our economy and contributes 21% to the Gross Domestic Product,” he added. The event was organised to address the issues of crops’ pests including pink boll worm, fruit fly etc.
The government provided the subsidy of Rs39 billion to reduce the prices of inputs to facilitate the farming community, he said, adding that they had reduced the prices of electricity for the farmers that will lower the cost of production. The government was also providing free seed to the farming community, he said. He added the government was providing the interest free loans worth Rs1,000 to the small farmers.
Speaking on the occasion, UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said the agricultural productivity in the major crops is stagnant for which efforts should be made at national level as pests are responsible for the loss of the millions of the rupees to the national economy.
He urged the scientists to come up with a strategy to address this issue.
Source: The Express Tribune
December 18, 2016