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February 28, 2015

‘Need to improve value-addition at farm level’


February 28, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani farmers get ‘low returns’ for their commodities due to higher cost of production, experts said Friday, while calling for interventions to improve value addition at farm level, and creation of industrial and market linkages.
Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research (NFSR), Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan while addressing “Pakistan Agriculture Conference and Exhibition 2015” said that although the agriculture sector has traditionally sustained a satisfactory growth, yet challenges to farmers remain.
Concerted efforts were being made to improve farm level practices and develop linkages of farmers with markets and Industry. “We are committed to increase the existing productivity to ensure better returns to farmers,” the minister said.
The government would provide required infrastructure support to agro-processors with the aim to enhance value addition and job opportunities for the growing young population, he said. The minister however highlighted the importance of developing new products and technologies to promote the agriculture sector.
He said that as per the government policies, the rural youth will be supported in acquiring new skills for setting agro-based businesses for improving household incomes.
Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) Chairman Dr Iftikhar Ahmad said that investment in the agriculture sector would definitely reduce poverty from the country.
“One dollar generated through agriculture income is more effective in eradication of poverty than two to three dollars earned from other sectors,” he said, while giving a detailed presentation on state of agriculture in Pakistan.
He was of the view that when rural income increases by five percent, the income in urban areas automatically goes up by eight percent. So there is a need for proper attention towards the development of agriculture sector, particularly livestock.
In his address to the conference, Mission Director, USAID

Pakistan, Gregory Gottlieb said that his country was committed to work with Pakistan for the promotion of the agriculture sector. He said that the US has been looking for opportunities to help make Pakistan’s future bright.

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