Next few years vital for the Pakistani agriculture sector: Food Minister
ISLAMABAD, Oct.7(Gwadar Pro) - Pakistani Federal Minister for National Food and Security Syed Fakhar Imam said on Wednesday afternoon that the next few years will be vital for the Pakistani agriculture sector as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) second phase focuses on the agriculture sector.
Imam was speaking as Chief Guest at a conference on “Food Security vis-à-vis Sustainable Agriculture in Pakistan: Policy Outcomes and Prospects” which was Jointly organized by Center for Global and Strategic Studies, Islamabad, Hanns Seidel Foundation Pakistan and MNS University of Agriculture, Multan.
“Pakistan needs to upgrade agriculture sector through the use of modern technology. We can apply different methodologies on smaller areas and that can be replicated on larger scale. We have youth that is committed to take agro-economic sector to new heights. 60% of our total exports depends upon cotton and 70% of the edible oil comes from cotton,” he remarked.
The minister observed that Pakistan was blessed with the agro-economic zones. “We have one of the most extensive irrigation system in the world. Currently, we are using 1/4th of our geographical land for cultivation of five major crops which is still dominated by wheat. 38% of our population is employed in the agro-economic sector,” he maintained.
This year, he recalled, “we had record production in many crops and by next year more people would invest in this sector. We need to take interest in other crops too,” he opined.
Guest of Honor of the Conference Syed Hussain Jahania Gardezi, Provincial Minister of Punjab for Agriculture, said food security had always remained a threat to mankind.
“Various scientists and philosophers have also been warning about the threats related to food, agriculture security and climate change. Food security threat has always existed; however, the dimensions of this threat have changed due to other factors particularly climate change,” he elaborated.
Gardezi pointed out that Pakistan was a signatory of Sustainable Development Goals and has committed to provide safe and healthy food to its citizens and “I hope that our policymakers, academia and scientist will put efforts to fulfill our nations requirements.”