Minister ties smart farming to food security

APP
July 05, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Food Security and Research Fakhar Imam on Saturday said the government was working hard in applying genetic engineering, crop diversification, and biotechnology in...

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ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Food Security and Research Fakhar Imam on Saturday said the government was working hard in applying genetic engineering, crop diversification, and biotechnology in agriculture sector to ensure country’s food security.

“The government is committed to double the income of the farmers and this can be achieved only if they use technology and opt for crop diversification,” he said.

“There is also a dire need to move towards precision agriculture technology, big data, and quality assurance to meet international quality parameters.”

The minister said the government wanted to focus on agricultural research, education, and extension to promote export-focused production and that could not be avoided anymore as it was vital for agro-based industrial development.

He said the universities and research departments should be groomed and advanced technology be applied for the benefit of agriculture, adding, there was no doubt Pakistan was an agro-based country but “we had not focused on it as we should have over the years”.

“We should continue to work together towards climate change resilient research, mechanisation in pulses cultivation and processing, improving seed replacement rate to fill the gap of technology adoption in the farming fields.”

He said the government would take all-out measures to facilitate the farmers as development of the agriculture sector was among its priorities.

“Agriculture is not only the basis for country’s economy, but it also ensures the supply chain of foods to the masses. That is why it is of paramount importance to focus on agriculture sector to avoid food security issues,” the minister said.

He explained the agriculture sector was faced with multiple issues including water scarcity, low quality seeds and pesticides.

Moreover, the locust swarms and climate change, were also emerging threat for the sector as it had become a huge challenge for the crops the same way COVID-19 had become a threat to human life, Imam added.

“Food availability will be ensured through increase in production of food items,” he said, adding, “Improved farm techniques will also be promoted and issues like land and water management will also be addressed”.



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