Govt, industry cooperation must to deal agriculture challenges

LODHRAN, Nov 6 (APP): Federal Minister for National Food
Security and Research, Sikandar Hayat Bosan said on Friday that
investment in agriculture sector was an easy way to alleviate
Addressing a gathering of farmers here at sports stadium
on compensation cheques distribution ceremony among farmers
by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif under Rs 341 billion
Kissan Package, Bosan said, a study shows that five percent
increase in income in agriculture sector translates into
eight (8) percent increase in income in urban areas.
He said the PML-N government led by Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif had started providing much needed relief to farmers
under an unprecedented Kissan Package for it believes that
well-being of farmers and increase in their income would result
in more economic activity in urban areas also and attract more
investment in other sectors.
It was for the first time in country’s history that a
government launched a huge relief package extending financial
support directly to farmers, Bosan said.
He said the government would invest over Rs 16 billion
on providing loans/relief to farmers to instal solar tubewells.
This one-time investment from farmers with support from government
would enable them lift water for irrigation purposes at minimal cost.
He said that prices of rice and cotton had gone down in
the international market. He said the government had decided
to extend loans to exporters to enable them buy agriculture
produce from farmers and export it to attract foreign exchange.
He said that rice mills had been provided relief in
turnover tax while the government had also reduced import duty
on agriculture machinery from 43 percent to nine (9) per cent.
Bosan hailed Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif for making
arrangements speedily for the implementation of Kissan Package
in Punjab.
He said that agriculture was the backbone of the national
economy and 87 per cent of the total exports of the country
come from this sector.
He said the government was fully aware of the problems
being faced by the farming community and would continue to
take steps for their well-being.