Agriculture plays crucial role in economic development: Shahzad Malik

Staff Report

LAHORE:Chairman Pakistan Hi Tech Hybrid Seed Association (PHHSA) Shahzad Ali Malik Thursday said agricuture plays a crucial role in the economy of developing countries, and provides the main source of food, income and employment to their rural populations.

Talking to a delegation of progressive farmers led by Momin Ali here today he said it has been established that the share of the agricultural population in the total populace is 67% that agriculture accounts for 39.4% of the GDP and that 43% of all exports consist of agricultural goods. He said It has become increasingly evident in the last few years that the conception of both economist and policy- makers regarding the role of agriculture in economic development has undergone an important evolution. He said roughly one quarter of the Earths terrestrial surface is now under cultivation with more land converted to crop production in the 30 years after 1950 than in the previous 150 years. He said In many regions – including Europe, North America, Australia and recently Brazil, China and India-humanity has also become skilful at raising yields through using inputs like fertilizers, pesticides and organic manures. He said yet in many poorer countries with low productivity rates and growing populations, agriculture continues to expand into marginal and fragile lands.

He said In much of sub-Saharan Africa and large parts of Asia – according to estimates compiled by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA)- almost no highly productive land is left. However, improvements in agriculture and land use are fundamental to achieving food security, poverty alleviation and overall sustainable development. He said Agriculture in the United States is becoming increasingly trade oriented and trade sensitive. He said Agricultural trade issues are seen to be much more complex now compared to earlier days. He said the United States was the largest agricultural exporter.

Shahzad Ali Malik Sitara-Imtiaz and also chairman United Business Group in the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry said agriculture is backbone of national economy of Pakistan which he added now must be strengthened on modern scientific lines for achieving food autarky by using latest means of technology for bumper crops. He said entire arable land be brought under plough and use of hi tech hybrid seeds must be made mandatory by claiming complete ban on non certified seeds across the country.He said government must encourage private sector for help evolving new varieties of hi tech hybrid seeds for cotton sugar cane and other crops.He said Guard Agricultural Research and service Division first time in Pakistan history in private sector successfully evolved hi tech hybrid rice with collaboration of Chinese company Yuan Longping High-Tech Agriculture Co. Ltd (YLHTACL) and such endeavours must also made on top priority for bringing agricultural revolution in the country for meeting ever increasing food staple needs of growing population at alarming rate.

He said now it’s high time to focus on the promotion of agriculture sector in the wake year long Russia-Ukraine conflict which disrupted the global supply chain also badly hitting the fragile economies ofdeveloping countries including Pakistan.Concluding he said Allah blessed Pakistan with plenty of natural resources and deposits which must be fully exploited through good governance coupled with wisdom based prudent decisions in the larger national interests.

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