Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) President Mian Zahid Hussain said on Monday that the agricultural sector, which was the backbone of Pakistan’s economy, was not getting the required attention.
According to a press release, Zahid said that inputs were being increased to boost production and this was leading to an increase in the cost of doing business. He added that neglect of this sector had resulted in a decrease in the share of agriculture in the GDP.
The PBIF president said it was impossible to ensure national development while keeping agricultural development on the backburner. He said the agriculture sector was no longer the largest sector of the economy but it continued to provide jobs to majority of the labour in the country.
Zahid said that in the last eight years, agricultural growth had remained at the average of 2.1 percent while recently it had dipped to 1.6 percent, adding that this was evident of the apathy of the policymakers.
He said reduced production had resulted in poverty in the rural areas and had widened the gap between the rich and the poor.
The president of the business forum said that policies of the government had pushed farmers to prefer low cost crops over high value crops, adding that different packages announced for the farmers had failed to achieve the desired results.
Zahid said that Pakistan was famous for its milk production and the number of cattle was increasing but productivity of milk, beef and mutton had been stagnant since long.
Zahid was of the view that livestock was crucial for poverty reduction and food security along with an improvement in human health, but majority of the people engaged in this business were not part of the formal economy and this had proved to be an obstacle in their development.
Web Desk. Agriculture sector being neglected in Pakistan: PBIF president. Daily Times, January 9, 2017.