Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam Thursday underlined that a state of the art research center would be established to promote organic farming in the country that would provide chemical free food to the people besides a number of other benefits including clean environment and better land fertility.
Participating in the budget debate, he said agro-economic development depends on structural reforms and agriculture sector development can only be achieved by revamping farm technology, reorienting research, transfer of technology and promoting organic farming.
He said, “Organic farming had been made on 172 million acre land across the world and this type of farming would also be helpful for the environment”.
“We have to take steps for the encouraging and attracting people to start organic farming in the country” he added.
Fakhar Imam also expressed the commitment to develop the agriculture sector on scientific lines in order to enhance yield of major crops including wheat, cotton and rice.
He said that China has agreed to transfer of technology in the agriculture sector under the second phase of the China-Economic-Pakistan-Corridor.
Fakhar Imam said Pakistan would not require loans from IMF and Asian Development Bank if it manages to enhance the cotton production from current 9 million bales to 18 million bales. He was of the view that value addition can increase the export of the country.
He said that it was unfortunate the industry had not been given priority by all the previous governments. “With the focus of value addition, the country’s export can be enhanced” he added.
He said research was also required to enhance per acre yield of Wheat crop. He said that there was chance that the country may not achieve set target of wheat.
He said that the government has now allowed the private sector to import wheat to stabilize its price in the market.
He said that the government has announced billions of rupees to fight locust outbreak that threatens food security in the country.
The minister said that aircraft had also been arranged to spray in the locusts affected areas.
He said that Pakistan army has established center to deal with locust in the country.