Agriculture Growth Is Critical To Reduce Poverty: Shahzad Malik
PHHSA Chairman stated that adding value to agricultural products means that more income is generated from agriculture, which helps to reduce poverty in rural areas.
Agricultural growth is two to four times more effective than growth in other sectors at raising incomes among the poorest, which aids to reduce poverty according to Pakistan Hi-Tech Hybrid Seed Association (PHHSA) Chairman Shahzad Ali Malik.
Agriculture, he told a delegation of progressive farmers led by Shoukat Ali Arain of Mamukanjan, district Toba Tek Singh, is the backbone of the economy because it provides the foundation for food and nutrition security as well as raw materials for industrialization.
Agriculture, he said, is also critical to economic growth, accounting for 4% of global GDP and more than 25% in some of the least developed countries. He stated agriculture can help reduce poverty, raise incomes, and improve food security for 80 percent of the world’s poor, who live in rural areas and work mainly in farming.
He stated that adding value to agricultural products means that more income is generated from agriculture, which helps to reduce poverty in rural areas. Lower poverty rates in rural areas, he claims, are also associated with increased production and income diversification, as well as more market-oriented economies. He stated that Pakistan’s agriculture sector is critical to the economy, accounting for 18.9 percent of GDP and employing 42.3 percent of the labour force.
It also generates significant foreign exchange earnings and stimulates growth in other sectors. In light of the global impending threat of food insecurity, he stated that the government must strengthen the agriculture sector along modern scientific lines in order to meet the country’s ever-increasing demands of population exploitation.
Shahzad Ali Malik, recipient of the civil award Sitara-i-Imtiaz for developing the first-ever hybrid rice seed in Pakistan, stated that cash crops cotton and rice should be prioritised over staple foods, with full enforcement of the use of only hi-tech hybrid seed in rice cultivation across the country to achieve the highest yield per acre compared to noncertified seeds.
He urged the government to outlaw all non-certified seed qualities throughout the country and to educate growers and farmers about the benefits of using quality seeds, which will not only improve production but also dramatically increase profitability.