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October 27, 2018

Pakistan bound to prosper, says Dr John Steen


October 27, 2018

LAHORE: Living conditions in Pakistan are completely peaceful and growth-oriented which belies the misconceptions propagated by certain quarters in the outside world about extremist tendencies; the people of Pakistan are very peace-loving and every Pakistani coming in contact inside Pakistan has been found to be extremely courteous.

Pakistan's agricultural base is capable of producing surplus which can bring much more prosperity and economic strength and stability the prospects of which are bright since the people, the farmers and the government of Pakistan have responded positively to the recommendations of Australia's agriculture researchers.

These views were expressed by Dr John Steen, Head of UQ School of Business, University of Queensland, Australia, while talking to The News here Wednesday. Dr Steen highly appreciated the good response of Government of Pakistan as well as farmers towards the policy recommendations, effective ways and means and scientific advice aimed at enhancing agricultural productivity to a much greater degree.

The areas of focus are empowerment of the farming community by way of educating and training them in modern agricultural techniques like water management or reduction in wastage of water, proper selection of fertilisers and seeds and suitable timing of sowing and harvesting. Above all, there was need to ease the farmers', especially the small farmers' access to capital so that they were able to implement effective scientific techniques for greater produce and productivity.

According to Dr John Steen, policy recommendations in this area have also been submitted by him and his team members to the government and other circles concerned which include farmers' representatives.

The cooperation and participation of more than 20 agri-financing and micro-financing organizations, including an important official of State Bank of Pakistan in the debates and discussions organised by Dr Steen and his team in Pakistan, has also been highly appreciated.

The Australian scholar and researcher who was accompanied by Postdoctoral Research Fellow from the same University, Prof Dr Shabbir Ahmad, of Pakistani origin, said the people of Pakistan were amazing and so were the prospects of Pakistan's prosperous growth as this country possessed a very large agriculture base as well as one of the largest canal irrigation systems which could lay the foundation for Pakistan's massive economic growth.

The issue of water scarcity also came under discussion. Dr John Steen shared the experience of Australians where the government and the people took up this responsibility jointly and reduced the ongoing usage of water to 75 percent of the average usage level.

This experience could be emulated in Pakistan since the water scarcity problem has been very well-managed in water-scarce Australia because of the discipline- and certain regulations- enforced by the Australian government and also because of the responsible attitude of citizens.

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