ISLAMABAD – Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research was informed Monday that an agricultural package worth Rs 30 billion had been sent to the Prime Minister for approval to promote agriculture sector in the country.
The senate body, which met here under the chairmanship of Senator Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar, was attended by Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Bosan and other members of the committee.
The officials of Ministry of National Food Security and Research informed the committee that the package includes steps to promote agricultural, fertilizing and livestock protection etc, adding the federal government would support the provincial governments and had already taken commitments from them in this regard.
Federal Minister Sikandar Hayat admitted that the agriculture sector of the country was in poor condition.
He underlined the importance to reduce cost of wheat production to provide relief the poor people and farmers as well.
He said the government was going to take good decision regarding agricultural policy in coming few days.
He admitted the research institutions related to agriculture in Pakistan could not be able to get good achievements due to lack of funds.
The budget of his ministry, he said, had been reduced from Rs 32 billion to just 1.5 billion after the 18th Amendment in Constitution. The cotton production had also been significantly affected, he added.
The minister said solar pumps in Balochistan should be installed in the areas that were close to rivers and other water reservoirs. There was a need to construct small dams to overcome shortage of water, he added.
The committee expressed displeasure over the performance of Pakistan Agriculture and Research Council.
Chairman Committee said there was a need of planting 100 million saplings every year across the country to save the country from affects of climate change.
Earlier, the officials informed the body that PARC had planted more than 100,000 saplings.
The committee recommended to encourage local industry of Balochistan to avoid wastage of palm date.
The Senate body noted that there were 71 kinds of dates produced in Balochistan that were sold to Iran which exported it to Pakistan after repacking against double rates.
The official informed the committee that the current budget of the ministry was being spent on 21 PSDP projects of the ministry.
Source: The Nation