Karachi, November 12, 2021 (PPI-OT):Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday lauded the decision of the Prime Minister Imran Khan to focus on welfare of small farmers.
He said that the decision of the Prime Minister to modernize the agriculture sector is commendable, which include subsidies and soft loans for purchase of fertilizer, seeds, and pesticides. Mian Zahid Hussain said that agriculture can never be developed on modern lines unless the government starts supporting small farmers.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that there is a fear of water shortage for the Rabi crop, which will be detrimental to the farmers and for the food security. Therefore, strict measures should be taken against the theft of water from canals while farmers should be freed from loan sharks, middlemen, and hoarders, he said.
He noted that farmers will not get proper compensation for their labour and the agricultural sector will never be stable unless farmers are shielded from crooked elements. Mian Zahid Hussain said that there is a fear of a 28% reduction in water supply for the Rabi crop which should be resolved on an urgent basis as it can hit wheat and other crops which are central to food security.
He said that the government should also take notice of the increase in prices of DAP and urea, as it would affect the production of wheat and tomatoes. In different parts of Punjab, instead of Rs7300, DAP is being sold at Rs8500 to Rs10000 while urea which is supposed to be sold at the rate of Rs1760 per bag is available at Rs2200 to 2500.
The government should take immediate steps to curb the black marketing of DAP and urea, otherwise the farmers would take to the streets. He noted that the government provides a subsidy of Rs1000 per sack to the farmers but due to bureaucratic problems, it is very difficult for the farmers to get it, so they sell the voucher for Rs300 to the agents. The government should take steps to bring the price of fertilizer or increase the subsidy so that the farmers can breathe a sigh of relief.
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Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF)