The less developed areas of Pakistan, which constitute 70 percent area of the country, have been continuously neglected by the successive governments and the incumbent governments needs to set up research institutions in these areas to educate farmers about agriculture. Senator Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar said this while chairing the meeting of Senate Functional Committee on Problems of Less-developed Areas on Tuesday.
He said that over 90 percent of farmers even did not know about proper use of water, fertilisers, seeds as well as fishery and livestock sector, hence the government needs to invest in these areas.
Kakar said, “Our research institutions especially National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) need to educate farmers of less-developed areas about quality seed, proper use of water and use of modern technologies”. He said that ban should be imposed over cutting of rare trees and research institutions should be set up in less-developed areas of the country.
Senator Kabeer Ahmed said that despite spending billion of rupees, country’s research institutions have so far played no role in the betterment of the agriculture sector. He said: “The government needs to close these research institutions in the country as they are only drawing salaries and doing nothing for the betterment of the agriculture sector”.
Sikandar Hayat Bosan, Minister for National Food Security and Research (NFS&R) said that provincial governments do not take interest in the development of agriculture sector, which is one of the major causes behind degradation of agriculture sector. He further said: “Kisan package announced by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is not long term solution to the farmers’ issues, therefore, provincial governments need to devise effective plan and allocate adequate funds for agriculture sector.”
The seriousness of provincial governments can be judged from the fact that provincial agriculture ministers and secretaries even do not attend meetings of Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) despite requests made by the ministry, he added.
He said that all political parties, researchers and media need to play their role for the betterment of agriculture sector. The secretary MNFS&R said that Pakistan’s neighbouring countries including India, Nepal allocate huge funds in the budget for agriculture sector but unfortunately in Pakistan no body takes it seriously.
News source: Business Recorder