AGRICULTURE NEWS

GOVT DETERMINED TO INCREASE AGRI OUTPUT: SAPM

Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Food Security and Agriculture Jamshed Iqbal Cheema told that the government has launched a restructuring plan for government organisations and institutions in order to further improve their performance. He added that the research fund was also being regulated for researchers. Government is trying its best to enhance agriculture yield by strengthening linkages between government, researchers and farmers. He urged scientists to play their productive role and develop new technologies and products to strengthen the national economy. He added that commercialisation of their innovations will improve repute along with financial benefits. Government strictly believes in merit and best salary packages would be offered to the “right person for right job”. Dr. Ishrat Husain , adviser to PM on institutional reforms and austerity, directed to have Detailed discussions and seek recommendations from the officials of AARI, NIAB (National Institute for Agriculture & Biology), PARS (Postgraduate Agriculture Research Station), NIEBGE (National Institute for Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering) and other departments regarding the transformation. He said that as a result of institutional reforms, the performance and income of the growers have increased substantially. He said that an average increase of 90% was recorded in the prices of food and energy while prices of wheat and rice witnessed 34% increase, maize 51%, edible oil 60-70%, poultry 54%, beef 10% fertilizers 34-154%, Urea 95%, PSD 120% and DPA price 122% increase. He added Pakistan was among 5 countries that recorded growth during COVID. He shared that Govt. intended to develop processing industry 2nd largest sector. Moreover, Govt. is focusing on enhancing domestic production to make the imported commodities available in abundance locally by next year. He said that government intends to make Pakistan a net food exporting country and in order to ensure food security; the government has allocated Rs 62 billion for agriculture sector which hopefully be increased next  year. A policy has been drafted for increasing production of fruits and vegetables up to 30% and wheat up to 80%. He added initiatives have been taken for speedy growth of livestock sector like promotion of best breeds of animals and birds. Govt. allocated Rs10 billion for research work on improvement of breeds.