ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has 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.
In a meeting held in Islamabad on Tuesday, the prime minister said the government’s aim was sustainable growth of the agriculture sector as it was the mainstay of the national economy.
The prime minister 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.
Khaqan 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 along with promotion of research and development functions of various organisations of the ministry in line with international best practices.
The prime minister said as a bottom line, the state must ensure a fair return to farmers for their efforts by adopting sustainable policy framework.
Moreover, he said small farmers should be the focus of agriculture policy so as to provide maximum facilitation.
During the meeting, the Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan and senior officials gave a briefing to the prime minister regarding the overall outlook of agriculture sector, achievements of the ministry and challenges faced by the agriculture sector.
The prime minister was apprised that presently the agriculture sector was contributing 19.5 percent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and around 42 percent labour force was employed in the sector.
Likewise, he was briefed that agriculture in the country provided 57.5 percent share in the total exports and growth rate of the sector remained 3.46 percent in Fiscal Year 2016-17.