Govt plans to break influence of middlemen in agri business: Bosan

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ISLAMABAD, Nov 22 (APP): Minister for National Food Security and Research, Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan has said that the government is planning to break the strong influence of middlemen in business of agriculture produce by increasing markets in the rural areas.
“I have suggested the provincial governments to chalk out a comprehensive plan to facilitate the farmers by reducing the influence of brokers”, Sikandar Hayat Bosan said.
The minister lamented that the poor farmer had no option but to go to the middleman of his area for disposing off their produce who not only charge a fix 10 percent of total price of the produce but also pay less price of the produce as compared to the market price.
Talking to APP here the minister said specially the small farmers can not afford to store their produce because they needed urgent money to meet their daily routine life expenditures.
“I recently talked to Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif to
facilitate the private sector to establish more and more markets in and around the areas so that the farmers could easily approach to the markets directly to sell their produce instead of wasting their money by paying huge amount to the middlemen”, the minister added.
Moreover, the minister said that farmers has main problem of holding
their produce for few days in order to get a good price by selling their produce at a suitable time.
“In order to increase the holding power of the farmers, the government
has announced a special package of Rs 100 billion to be provided to the small farmers on very low interest rate”, Bosan observed.
He said although the agriculture credit was being increased every year
but what he called this was not sufficient and the credit was needed to be
drastically increased to make the farmers independent and to improve their
capacity to produce the agriculture products.
Sikandar Hayat Bosan said he was also planning to resolve the problem of
storage of bulk amount of wheat.
“The production of wheat occur within a month throughout the country
therefore the government have to face problems of procuring wheat”, he said
adding that the problem also occurred during last few years because it can not export the produce at low price in the international market.
To another query, the minister said that despite the
challenges of high costs of production, Pakistan had been competing
its neighboring countries in production of per acre yield.
He said that new technologies and techniques were transferred
to the farmers to further boost production adding that the
agricultural scientists were vigorously working to enhance
productivity.
The Minister said that due to decline in commodity prices in the
international market, the country’s farmers were facing problems, which
resulted in sluggish agriculture growth. Therefore, the
government announced Kissan Relief Package to provide relief
to small farmers.