KARACHI: The agriculture sector, which has been sharing 21 percent in country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP), should be treated as industry to help prompt economic growth, agro people opined.
Pakistan possesses huge potential as well as resources, which are needed to be exploited through proper farm management for the well being of the farmers and allied agri-sectors.
We have huge resources and Pakistan has been among the top agriculture and livestock producing countries, said agriculture sector people.
There is need of farm management to tap this huge potential while life of country’s rural population could be uplifted if proper attention is paid towards the promotion of livestock.
The promotion of this sector can play an important role in alleviating poverty as there is a potential of investments in livestock industry and billions of rupees could be earned by harnessing its produce including milk and meat.
The fishery is also a major sector having a lot of investment opportunities, as there was tremendous potential in fish industry, its breeding and production and processing.
The importance of proper pre and post harvest crop management mechanism cannot be ruled out and stakeholders can take full advantage of the agriculture yield, Rana Abdul Sattar, former member Sindh Assembly and former chief Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association said.
The value addition of several horticulture and agriculture products could help country earn huge foreign exchange, however adequate funds and management of products were required to promote agriculture sector.
Shakeel Ahmad, Chief of Sindh Agriculture Forum was of the view that government was attaching high priority to agriculture sector for enhancing production of agricultural commodities for food security that would improve socio-economic condition of farmers.
But all depends on will of the doers in government level. There is need to move forward scientifically and utilise marginal lands only for olive cultivation so that prime land may be utilised for other cash crops. Through promotion and cultivation of olive in Pakistan we can minimise oil import bill and save foreign exchange.
The efforts of Pakistan Agriculture Research Council and BARI olive scientists for promotion and cultivation of this crop in Potohar region is commendable.
Agriculture scientists should reach to impart update knowledge at farmers’ field so farmers could benefit from research, new knowledge and innovations.
Currently olive plantation over 5,100 acres in Pakistan and in future 8,000 acres of land would be brought under olive cultivation.
All the lands under olive will be marginal lands and no prime land will be use as this crop can flourish on marginal lands. During 2016, around 36 tonnes of olive fruit entered in Pakistan market and it would further increase in coming years.
PARC and Unique Value Private Limited Chakwal should enhance their joint venture in order to increase olive and its products to be sold in the market.
PARC is facilitating the companies in purchasing fruit and ensure maintaining the quality of products and quality testing facilities. The private companies are playing their important role for the olive promotional as well as expansion of use of olive oil and other value added products of olive, like olive cake, pickles, jam, murraba, biscuits and other products.
It would be difficult to bring about change unless agriculture was not treated as an industry besides giving it proper attention, they asserted.