‘Insufficient’ Rs 12 Billion For Agriculture, Says Senate Committee

Islamabad: As the agriculture sector accounts for 19% of the country’s GDP and employs 38% of its labor force, the Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research has described the government’s funding of Rs12 billion for agriculture as “insufficient”.

At its meeting on Wednesday chaired by Senator Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah, the committee stressed the importance of a uniform wheat production policy in Pakistan and the necessity of establishing an attractive minimum price for cotton, as well as measures to motivate farmers from planting other crops.

It was pointed out to the committee by the Ministry of National Food Security that inadequate funds and weak execution have prevented agriculture from achieving its full potential.

A system to directly provide subsidies to farmers has also been put in place, the committee was informed. To fully realize the benefits of Pakistan’s agriculture industry, it was suggested that a shift from traditional agriculture to knowledge-based agriculture could be made as soon as possible.

In addition to water appropriation, the committee also discussed the Sindh-Punjab rivalry.

The committee recommended that, according to para 7 of the accord, Indus River System Authority (Irsa) contact the relevant authority for discussion. The committee also recommended that progress on this matter be transmitted before the next meeting to the secretary committee.

According to the Indus Water Accord of 1991, all surplus irrigation water and all losses must be equally shared between all provinces.

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