Pakistan is an agricultural country. Agriculture is the mainstay of the country’s economy. According to the Pakistan Economic Survey 2016-17, the agriculture sector showed a significant growth of 3.46 percent during the current fiscal year 2016-17 as against the assigned target of 3.5 percent. During this period, there was growth in the output of all major crops – including wheat, rice, sugarcane, cotton and maize. The growth was attributed to the availability of agricultural inputs such as water, agricultural credit and intensive fertilisers.
In his budget speech, the federal finance minister has the proposed eliminating the five percent regulatory duty and reducing the customs duty from 11 percent to three percent on the import of the grand stock and parent stock of chicken. The government has also proposed a reduction in customs duties on the import of hatching eggs from 11 percent to three percent. Such measures will help reduce the cost of inputs and boost the poultry sector. The government is making efforts to promote the machine farming sector so that the agricultural produce can be enhanced. However, the growers still need to apply the latest methods to achieve sustainability, productivity imperatives, better yields, and growth. This will not be possible without the active support of the government and the agronomists. To achieve food security, the authorities will have to ensure modern, efficient, and innovative farming techniques while farmers will need to focus on the state of the soil, the quality of fertilisers and proper irrigation facilities.
Khan Faraz, Peshawar