Sharing 10-year development targets under CPEC, Dr. Khan briefed the committee that PARC’s aim is to make Pakistan a cotton exporting country rather than importing cotton from other countries thereby saving foreign exchange worth $1.5bn.
Besides renovation of existing orchards, the introduction of new varieties, reducing post-harvest losses, improving value chain, and development of rural industries are major proposed interventions.
The committee members also paid a visit to the exhibition at National Agriculture Research Centre where a comprehensive briefing was given to the committee on the agro-tech company, aquaculture, and fisheries program, honeybee research institute, alternative energy use in agriculture, and vegetable and fruit crops cultivation processes.
The committee members remarked that farmers were the major stakeholders of the agriculture sector, and it is a matter of concern that seeds of various crops were not being provided to farmers on time.
In this regard, the committee suggested that bottlenecks need to be removed to ensure fair and timely distribution of crop seeds to the farmers so that by resolving farmers’ issues agricultural productivity could be enhanced.
Speaking on the occasion, Arbab said that selected groups of farmers from all provinces and regions would be invited to convey their concerns to PARC so that their problems could be resolved.
The committee was also of the view that the vast potential of the agriculture sector if exploited prudently and effectively will vehemently alter the socio-economic landscape of our country, bring lasting economic benefits, and strengthen the process of industrialization under the CPEC framework.