To achieve real economic growth government should formulate such policies which are trusted by the growers; otherwise, agriculture potential will remain untapped and the growth target will not be achieved.
These views were expressed by experts in a Jang Economic Session on ‘Experts opinion on trends of modern agriculture’. The panellists were Rukhsana Zafar, Asif Sharif, Abdur Rehman, Nadeem Qureshi, Dr Saleem Akhtar and Dr Muhammad Ashraf while hosted by Sikandar Lodhi.
Rukhsana Zafar said that agriculture issues could be reduced by adopting modern technology. Potato production had become possible after research, she said, adding that adoption of modern technique besides machinery was crucial for commercial farming promotion. She called for reforms in irrigation sector to adopt modern method of irrigation.
Asif Sharif said that developed countries are moving towards modern techniques of agriculture in which technology is being adopted at all stages of seed development to crop sowing and cultivation which is positively impacting on productivity. He called for adopting developed countries agriculture mechanism for which agriculture should be done on modern lines. He suggested agriculture policies based on ground realities besides educating and imparting training to the farmers on modern lines and establishing technology centres.
Abdur Rehman said modern technology adopted from seed to cultivation globally and such practices are needed in Pakistan in order to ensure food security of urban population. Appointment of agriculture technicians and experts in the sector could help in resolving the issues, he said, adding that likewise other countries Pakistan can save future of agriculture by adopting value addition and food programme. He called for expanding role of research in agriculture universities while implementation of agriculture policies could help in resolving issues.
Nadeem Qureshi said if the agriculture sector declares an industry and modern technology is adopted for its promotion then productivity enhancement is possible. He called for adopting modern techniques in the agriculture sector for which the government should give incentives to the farmers, training and provision of modern machinery. He said productivity could be enhanced by keeping in view the land fertility and climate of the region.
Dr Saleem Akhtar said impact of climate change on crops is increasing so there is need to adopt technologies which mitigate the climate change. He suggested to increase dependency on biotechnology and hybrid technology for which facilities should be provided to such institutions working on it. He said efficient use of water can enhance productivity while agriculture policies should be evolved keeping the ground realities in sight.
Dr Muhammad Ashraf said success of the agriculture policies lies in adopting the modern technologies and trend and avoiding the policy of handing over the sector in non-technical human resources. He said practical steps for the appointment of agriculture experts and expansion of research in agriculture universities would pave way for the growth of the sector. He said quantity of seed is focused in Pakistan instead of quality while no work is being done on major crops in public sector. He called for focusing on the commercial agriculture especially tunnel farming and adoption of hybrid technology.
Reporter. Growth linked to farmer-friendly policies. The News, March 8, 2017.