Agriculture sector in the country is suffering from unpredictability in growth and its performance remains subdued due to climate change, said Ahmad Jawad, Chairman Regional Standing Committee on Horticulture Exports, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) here on Saturday.
He stressed the need to launch an initiative to digitise agriculture and provide necessary information to farmers to increase production. Reflecting upon the country’s economic survey report, he said insufficient progress in technological innovation, limited progressive farming techniques, marketing and trade restrictions, low prices of crops and traditional processing methods were major reasons for low production. He said that around 40 percent of the total agricultural production was wasted in post-harvest due to insufficient utilisation of biotechnology, adding that in such scenariothe use of biotechnology seemed to be the most fitting solution to revive the sector.
“It is heartening to note that a mobile company operating in Pakistan has taken the initiative in this regard but the services of this initiative are limited to certain regions, which needs to be extended to the whole country,” he said.
He urged the federal and provincial governments to join hands and work on productivity increase, adapting to climate change, poverty alleviation, input subsidies, agriculture research and extension, improving seed provision, agriculture produce markets, genetically modified crops, and meeting globalisation challenges.
He said the agriculture sector was being badly affected due to climate change and disturbance of seasons and decreasing water level in the earth. The situation could worsen if no appropriate measures were taken, he warned. “The whole world is being affected due to climate change and Pakistan could become the single most affected country in future if pre-emptive measures are not taken,” he added. “It is a huge problem and projects could not be approved without environmental assessment,” added the FPCCI office bearer.
He said climate change was a global issue. Some 190 countries had gathered in Paris in 2015 and agreed to protect the earth and limit greenhouse gas emission, he added. The quarters concerned should focus on an Effective Agriculture Policy in the wake of recent climatic developments and to help achieve GDP growth, he added.
APP. FPCCI for digitisation of agriculture sector. The Nation, January 29, 2017.