AGRICULTURE NEWS

MEETING OF FEDERAL COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE (FCA) HELD AT NARC

A High Powered Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA), mandated to oversee strategic measures for ensuring food security in the country was, held its meeting in April, 2021, under the Chairmanship of Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research (MNFS&R).  Reviewed performance of the Rabi crops (2020-21), held detailed deliberations over the production targets for essential Kharif crops 2021-22, Meteorological department informed that climate will remain normal to slightly above normal rainfalls, all over the country. The Committee was informed that the availability of Rice and Maize seed will remain as per requirement. Despite prevailing Covid-19 situation, the agricultural credit disbursement made by lending institutions is gradually picking-up the pace. Currently, 50 agriculture lending institutions including five major commercial banks, two specialized banks (ZTBL & PPCBL), five Islamic banks, 11 Microfinance banks and 13 Microfinance institutions / Rural Support Programs are providing agriculture loans to farming community. The FCA appreciated the positive impact of fertilizer subsidy scheme. Dr. M. Azeem Khan, Chairman PARC emphasized on value addition of crops, vegetables and fruits and said that without value addition we cannot meet the food needs of the country nor achieve food security targets. Syed Fakhar Imam endorsed the proposal of Chairman PARC and also issued orders to form a Value Addition Committee. In the end, the Committee expressed satisfaction over the food security situation in the country however at present and in coming days, emphasized the need for concerted R&D on food crops and better coordination to consolidate the gains which will ensure further progress of the sector.