SAARC CCI for increasing investment in agri-research

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 11 (APP): SAARC Chamber of Commerce and
Industry on Friday urged the government for increasing investment in
agriculture research to boost crop yield to strengthen food security
in the country.
In a statement, President SAARC CCI, Iftikhar Ali Malik urged
the government foro granting interest free agricultural loans on
soft terms and conditions to farmers at their doorsteps besides
especial relief in water and power consumption.
Talking to a delegation of progressive farmers headed by
Muzaffar Ali Sial, he asked the farmers to adopt scientific methods
to enhance food grain production and reduce imports by using one-
fifth of their farming land to cultivate lentils.
Underlining the greater readiness to take the bold steps
needed to build a prosperous future of Pakistan he has given the
call for “Green Revolution”, in the country “which implies
productivity improvement in perpetuity without ecological and social
harm.
He said our farmers are still lagging behind in terms of
availability of good quality seeds, adequate water, power,
availability of proper price and market for their produce.
“We need to deal with not only the way the world produces
food but the way it is distributed, sold and consumed, and we need
a green revolution that can boost yields by working with rather
than against nature,” he added.
He noted that over half of the food produced today is lost,
wasted or discarded as a result of inefficiency in the human-managed
food chain.
“Unless we prepare a balanced and a comprehensive integrated
plan, we will not be able to change the lives of farmers,” he added.
Stressing the urgent need for use of scientific methods for
farming to increase productivity, Iftikhar said it was high time
that the country goes for green revolution.
Pakistan can save over $1.2 billion annually by encouraging
the domestic edible oil sector, he added.
He was of the view that proper farming, production,
processing and marketing of oilseeds can not only reduce dependence
on imports but also help earn foreign exchange as Pakistan is
located in the food deficient region.
Pitching for `per drop, more crop’, he stressed the need for
research in the field of agriculture to determine the health of soil
and its needs in terms of seeds, water quantity and amount of
fertilization.
He also emphasized on the need to focus on enhancing food
grain production by adopting scientific methods. “Research is
important in the agriculture sector. And this cannot happen only in
one place. We have to see how can we make our agriculture more
scientific and increase productivity and solutions are there for
these issues,” he added.
Iftikhar Ali Malik said agriculture, nutrition and health
should be brought together in terms of design and delivery systems
relating to public health and agriculture production.