Agriculture sector’s productivity in India is twice that of Pakistan largely because of fiscal and monetary incentives as well policies of the Indian government. Sources dealing with agriculture sector in Pakistan stated that agriculture productivity of wheat is 78 maunds per acre in Indian Punjab while in Pakistani Punjab it is only 35 maunds per acre.
The land is the same and only difference is the policies of the government, the official said, adding that in our case international institutions are guiding our polices which have negatively impacted on the plight of Pakistani farmers.
Agriculture price commission of Pakistan was made subservient to Ministry of Food on the advice of international donors and consequently the farmers of various crops are facing losses. The purpose of the price commission was to intervene in case of a pricing issue in the market in support of the farmer.
Sources also claimed that the Pakistan government has announced various measures in the budget ranging from tax incentives to crop insurance but these announcements largely remained unimplemented. He said that farmers did not get cash support for rice and cotton crops announced in the Prime Minister’s package and have yet to see the Rs 20 billion subsidy.
They added that quality of seed is very poor and the government has not done anything with respect to seed quality and creating awareness about farming techniques and extended services.
On the other hand Indian government envisages a host of measures in the next fiscal year budget for agriculture and farmers welfare. These measures include ;(i)allocation for Agriculture and Farmers welfare is 35,984 crore; (ii) Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana to be implemented in mission mode 28.5 lakh hectares will be brought under irrigation, ;(iii)implementation of 89 irrigation projects under AIBP, which are languishing for a long time, will be fast tracked;(iv) a dedicated Long Term Irrigation Fund will be created in NABARD with an initial corpus of about 20,000 crore;(v) Programme for sustainable management of ground water resources with an estimated cost of 6,000 crore will be implemented through multilateral funding;(vi) 5 lakh farm ponds and dug wells in rain fed areas and 10 lakh compost pits for production of organic manure will be taken up under MGNREGA (vii) Soil Health Card scheme will cover all 14 crore farm holdings by March 2017;(viii) 2,000 model retail outlets of Fertiliser companies will be provided with soil and seed testing facilities during the next three years.
India government has decided to promote organic farming through ‘Parmparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana’ and ‘Organic Value Chain Development in North East Region, unified Agricultural Marketing ePlatform to provide a common e-market platform for wholesale markets, allocation under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana increased to 19,000 crore.
Will connect remaining 65,000 eligible habitations by 2019, to reduce the burden of loan repayment on farmers, a provision of 15,000 crore has been made in the BE 2016-17 towards interest subvention. Allocation under Prime Minister Fasal Bima Yojana are 5,500 crores and 850 crores for four dairying projects – ‘Pashudhan Sanjivani’, ‘Nakul Swasthya Patra’, ‘E-Pashudhan Haat’ and National Genomic Centre for indigenous breeds.
Source: Business Recorder