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July 6, 2020

ICST lauds govt’s agriculture package

National

July 6, 2020

Islamabad: Founder of Islamabad Chamber for Small Traders, Shahid Rasheed Butt on Sunday said the farming community is in crisis, therefore, the government has decided to implement Rs56.6 billion agriculture package which is a laudable move.

Implementation of the package announced in May will provide relief to millions of farmers in the wake of locust attacks, pandemic, and lockdown. He said that the government should take steps to frustrate unholy designs of hoarders to create artificial shortage of fertilizer to avoid crop failure and food security issues.

Shahid Rasheed Butt said that government has decided to give a subsidy of Rs37 billion to farmers to help them buy fertilizer which will help strengthen the agriculture sector. He said that the government should allocate Rs20 billion for quality seed and good pesticides while taxes should be reduced on locally-manufactured and imported agricultural machinery so that their price can be reduced in the local market.

Affordable agriculture loans should be issued to genuine farmers while those having small holdings should be preferred, he said, adding that wastage of agricultural loans is rampant which can be controlled by allocating quota for every province.

The business leader said that presently 91 percent agricultural loans are bring provided to one province depriving others which should be noticed. He said that like many other important crops per acre produce of wheat is stagnant since the last eleven years for which the research and development should be improved.

Seed companies should not be given a free hand but regulated so that the food security situation improves and farmers could get good returns on their investments, he demanded. Many packages in the past have failed to achieve desired results, therefore steps should be taken to make it a success.