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No attention paid to agri sector after 1960: PM

National

May 5, 2021

ISLAMABAD: A meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan here on Tuesday was briefed on the integrated strategy for implementation of short, medium and long-term roadmap for the development of the country's agriculture sector, restoration of livestock and prosperity of farmers in consultation with all stakeholders.

The meeting of the National Coordinating Committee on Agriculture was attended by Special Assistant to Prime Minister Jamshed Iqbal Cheema, Dr Shahbaz Gill, Member Economic Advisory Council Abid Qayyum Silhari and senior officials through video link.

Jamshed Cheema apprised the meeting of benefits from the record production of wheat, rice, maize, sugarcane and potato in the last two years, and especially the farmer-friendly policies of the government. He said due to reasonable prices, the confidence of farmers has been restored. In fact, he noted, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has ended the exploitation of farmers by providing subsidies to farmers and setting higher prices for their produce.

The special assistant provided a comparative overview of the international agriculture model with Pakistan's agricultural model and outlined a proposed future agricultural model for the country with a focus on restoration of livestock, quality production of vegetables and fruits.

The provincial chief secretaries briefed on the progress made in the implementation of PC-1, Farmer Card, Research, Nursery Development, Food Processing, Information Technology in the budget of agricultural development projects in their respective provinces. The participants were also briefed on encouraging wheat production this year.

Addressing the meeting, the PM said no attention was paid to the agriculture sector of the country after 1960. In view of the key role of the agriculture sector in the development of the country and the well-being of farmers, the government is committed to develop this sector on a priority basis. He said that in view of encouraging production of wheat, maize, rice, sugarcane and potato in the last two years, to ensure provision of more facilities and conducive environment to farmers and rehabilitation of various sectors of agriculture under the new vision of agricultural development across the country, a roadmap be formulated based on concrete steps.

The prime minister called upon the National Coordinating Committee for Agriculture Forum to immediately address the challenges facing the development of the country's agriculture sector, to continuously monitor the development process and take effective decisions in consultation with all stakeholders in a timely manner. Stressing that the development of the country's agriculture sector is now one of the top priorities, he said the government will take all possible steps in this regard.