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Press Release

Agriculture sector needs focus to support the economy,

The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry President Mian Tariq Misbah on Friday hoped that agriculture would be the prime area of focus for the policy makers as this sector alone can lift the economy to the peak. “Pakistan is a sleeping technology giant, the day it gets up, Pakistan would be the developed country.” While talking to a group of businessmen and exporters, the LCCI President said that agriculture sector is considered the backbone of Pakistan’s economy but various blows including lack of appropriate technology, high input cost, unavailability of water and shrinking cropped area.

He said that major crops such as cotton, wheat, rice, sugarcane, fruits and vegetables can bring in huge foreign exchange for the country but despite having all resources, there is a huge gap between demand and production that is hitting the allied industries and economy as well.

Mian Tariq Misbah urged the government to add to the cropped area to avoid any crisis-like situation that is already being witnessed in cotton production. He said that we cannot afford to stay where we are today in terms of cropped areas and per hectare yield because we are already running well short of per capita food and raw material for the industry availability.

The LCCI President said that though Pakistan’s over 43% labor force is dependent upon agriculture, the yield gap in the four major crops of Pakistan is three times from the best producers in the world such as China and Egypt. He said that low yield has contributed to the poverty in rural areas besides forcing country to import agriculture produces to feed its population.

The LCCI President said factors that are recommended to improve the yield are through large scale introduction of hybrid seeds and mechanized farming, high efficiently irrigation systems such as drip irrigation and reduction in post harvest losses through introduction of privately owned cold storage facilities and establishment of agri processed industry.  

Mian Tariq Misbah said that future belongs to Biotechnology and Pakistan has tremendous potential to emerge as Biotechnology leader but to achieve this goal, private sector, scientists, researchers and government would have to work hand in hand.

He said that Pakistan’s agriculture sector is losing heavily due to insufficient utilization of biotechnology as the magic progress of agriculture sector is only due to Genetically Modified crops. He said that agriculture sector in Pakistan has a huge potential.  It continues to be the single largest and dominant driving force for growth as well as the main source of livelihood for 66 percent of Pakistan’s population. But it has always faced two major problems: first, productions per acre are lower than many other countries. Secondly, around 40% of production is wasted in the form of post-harvest losses due to insufficient utilization of biotechnology and non-existence of food process industry.