PM for a policy framework to ensure food security in country

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APP53-05 ISLAMABAD: September 05 - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chairing a meeting on Agriculture Sector at Prime Minister Office. APP

ISLAMABAD, Sept 5 (APP): Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan
Abbasi Tuesday directed the Ministry of National Food Security
and Research to work on a policy framework for putting in
place optimal methods for ensuring food security in the
country.
The Prime Minister gave the direction during a briefing
to him here at the PM Office by Minister for National Food
Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan and senior
officials regarding the overall outlook of agriculture sector,
achievements of the ministry and challenges faced by the
agriculture sector.
He was briefed that presently the agriculture sector was
contributing 19.5% to the country’s gross domestic product
(GDP) and around 42% labour force was employed in the sector.
Agriculture in the country provided 57.5% share in the total
exports and growth rate of the sector remained 3.46% in
FY 2016-17, he was briefed.
The Prime Minister stated that the government’s aim was
sustainable growth of the agriculture sector as it was the
mainstay of the national economy,, a press release issued by
the PM’s Media Office here said.
He also directed the ministry to bring the issue of
current low investment in the sector as compared to the
pre-devolution scenario before the Council of Common Interests
(CCI) so as to ensure allocation of greater resources to the
sector by provincial governments as well as the federal
government.
The Prime Minister said proposals to increase
productivity and crop diversification, keeping in view the
local demands and meeting various other challenges including
climate change, should also be part of the framework alongwith
promotion of research and development functions of various
organisations of the ministry in line with international best
practices.
As a bottom line, the state must ensure a fair return to
farmers for their efforts by adopting sustainable policy
framework, he added.
The Prime Minister said small farmers should be the focus
of agriculture policy so as to provide maximum facilitation.