A new law is being drafted to give legal cover to the agriculture commission formed under Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif last year to improve the agriculture sector in the province in collaboration with experts and industrialists.
According to official sources on Sunday, the draft law provides for a 36-member commission comprising ministers of agriculture, law, irrigation and finance, besides chief minister’s special assistant on livestock and dairy development. Secretaries of the concerned departments, representatives of farmers associations, vice-chancellors of agriculture and livestock varsities, agri-based industry, agriculturists and MPAs are also the members.
The proposed functions of the commission include examining policy, programmes and other measures taken by the government to materialise the strategic options and make recommendations for improvement.
It will consult stakeholders and take stock of the existing condition of the agriculture sector, farmers, challenges, government priorities and global imperatives, also identifying areas of future support.
The commission will develop a draft policy on crops, provide strategic direction and ensure synergy with sub-sectors, incorporating the views of small farmers in the official policies. It will assess the existing and potential threats to the agriculture sector and suggest measures to minimise them, monitor government’s special targeted subsidy packages, monitor and ensure crop stability, recommend measures to de-regularise the price capping of milk and meat.
It will recommend measures to promote private investment in the agriculture sector, sponsor research to generate information and maintain a database relating to the agriculture sector to improve service delivery to the farming community in the province.
It will monitor the mechanism and institutional procedure for redressing grievances of farmers.
Hanif, Intikhab. New law to provide legal cover to agri commission. Dawn, March 1, 2017.