Harvest trading demands best management practices in agriculture sector
Director Harvest Tradings, Ahmad Jawad has said that stake holders have showed concern that despite being an agrarian economy country reliance on import of vegetables from India has increased significantly.
Talking to INP here on Wednesday, Ahmed Jawad said that in accordance with the data of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Pakistan’s vegetable imports from India have increased in recent years to almost $200m.
He said that tariff distortion and low input costs in India due to heavy subsidies are the factors responsible for a rise in imports of vegetables from India.
Director Harvest Tradings said it is a matter of great concern that we don’t create viable polices for the transformation of agriculture sector.
In 2014, still we are not food surplus country as most of the work done by agricultural research organizations has not reached the farmers due to weak extension services and absence of any coordination between the entities.
“It’s time we should operate our agriculture and livestock sectors at their optimal levels by introducing on-farm best management practices and value-addition techniques” he said.
We can earn rich dividends through private sector investment in human resource development in areas like food production, processing, packaging, supply livestock farming, fisheries, horticulture and forestry.
However India had realized the importance of their agriculture sector in every commodity that’s why they implemented farmer friendly policies.
That’s why today we see that agriculture inputs are cheaper in India If we only take a look on Baluchistan, we see that this province is gifted with unlimited resources.
In agriculture sector this province annually produces more than a million tons of various varieties of fruits, 90 percent grapes, cherry, and almonds; 60 percent peach, pomegranate, and apricot; 34 percent apples.
The province is also the fifth largest producer of dates with an estimated production volume of 583,000 tons but, again, its exports and production suffer because of non-availability of infrastructure.
Jawad also said in view of population increase, land degradation and water scarcity in our country, there is a need to substantially increase vegetable production in the years to come and to attain self-sufficiency as well as to increase the exportable surplus.
This would be possible if adequate attention is given to agriculture sector by granting subsidy for inputs and provision of required infrastructure and enabling environment in every budget.