Published on January 07, 2022 05:59
The president said the agricultural sector has provided tremendous support to the country’s economy during the COVID 19 pandemic.
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – President Dr Arif Alvi said on Thursday that the use of modern technology and the latest cultivation methods is imperative to increase the yield per acre of major crops and boost the agricultural sector.
In his virtual speech at the Farmers Day ceremony, he pointed out that the use of modern technologies and new seeds like BT cotton will enhance the agricultural sector in the country.
He said it was heartwarming to note that farmers earned a record 1,100 billion rupees from the production of their crops.
He said the agricultural sector has provided enormous support to the country’s economy during the COVID 19 pandemic and the food needs of the population have been met through the efforts of farmers.
Speaking about the problems faced by the agricultural sector, he said the low yield per acre of wheat, cotton and other major crops was a problem. He stressed the need to tackle the problem of water scarcity by adopting drip and sprinkler irrigation and reducing the use of flood irrigation.
He pointed out that the presence of middlemen in crop supply chains decreases farmers’ profits, adding that middlemen earn money at the expense of farmers.
He said farmers could get better prices for their crops by using cell phones and computer apps, like fishermen in the past who got good prices for their produce.
The president observed that urea prices in the international market were very high but fertilizer prices were kept low by local manufacturers, adding that the government kept a stock of urea to keep prices under control.
An increase of one million bales of cotton would add Rs 100 billion to the national economy, he explained. He praised the farming community for producing bountiful crops of rice, wheat and maize last year.
He called for the implementation of the law on breeders to improve the variety of seeds and ensure their reliability. President Alvi said that there is great potential for growth in the livestock sector and the government has reduced duties and taxes to facilitate the growth of this particular sector.
He said farmers could earn more by growing high-value crops. Crop substitution could be used to grow crops that require less water. He was of the opinion that corporate agriculture as well as vertical agriculture could be adopted to develop the agricultural sector on modern lines.