Islamabad, December 07, 2020 (PPI-OT): The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Saturday said the agriculture sector cannot progress in absence of meaningful land reforms delayed since decades.
Land reforms were initiated in the 70s after which this critical has been ignored by all the governments which has inflicted heavy damage on the agriculture sector and resulted in food security issues.
The fall of agriculture has not only squeezed the income of farmers but also eroded the buying power of masses while the gulf between landed elites and farmers is expanding, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that almost 23 percent of agricultural land in Pakistan is owned by one percent rural nobility while 43 percent land is owned by farmers having few acres.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that all the schemes are designed to suit aristocracy while majority of the farmers are left on the mercy of climate, different mafias and loan sharks.
He said that the budget for research and development is insignificant, output is almost zero while only two crops, wheat and sugar enjoy support price.
The powerful sugar labboy has increased the area under cultivation of sugarcane by 14 percent since 2004-05 while Cotton’s area under cultivation has been decreased by 26 percent exposing the entire textile chain and millions of jobs at risk.
The failure of authorities has left Pakistan with no option but to import 2.5 million tonnes of wheat, 0.5 million tonnes of sugar and five million bales of cotton which will cost billions of dollars and may stoke a balance of payment crisis, he feared.
The collapse of agriculture, increasing rural inflation and shrinking job opportunities may result in migration of rural population towards urban centres which will be the beginning of many serious problems, he warned.
For more information, contact:
Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW)
402, 4th Floor, Gulistan Khan House, Fazal-e-Haq Road,
82-East, Blue Area, Islamabad