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Agriculture termed backbone of national economy      

The research scholars and academicians of the Country have said that the Agriculture is the backbone of the national economy and urged upon the government to pay attention on agriculture sector by providing subsidy and loans to growers with a sustainable system.

They were speaking in one day "Orientation and Consultative Workshop on Trade Initiatives from Human Development Perspective in Sindh Agriculture" jointly organised by Center for Rural Development Communication (CRDC) University of Sindh and UNDP here on Saturday.

Large number academicians, research scholars from different Universities, growers, eminent agriculturists, and representatives of the Trade, Agriculture and Chamber of Commerce organisations were present. The speakers among academia and grower organisation were of the view that with proper facilities the agriculture sector can be developed to help in the improvement of the economy of the Country.

The scholars urged upon the policy making and planners to review the policies towards agriculture development and for the agriculture development the suggestion of the academia and growers must be viewed. The Vice Chancellor University of Sindh Mazharul Haq Siddiqui who inaugurated the workshop, in his presidential address said that agriculture sector is most neglected sector. He said that it is dire need that proper attention must be paid of the policy makers and added that it has tremendous potential to give the nation.

He said that with hardworking and due to day night laborious work of rural people, we urbanised people live comfortable life and added that we always easily forgetting the efforts of the laborious work of the rural people which is injustice with them.

He said that while preparing of policies we are ignoring agro-based community and added that we must realise problems and importance factor towards human development.

He said that important factor in agriculture is livestock and added that consumption of Milk is more in the Province of Sindh so much Pakistan, therefore with focus on improvement of the livestock we can also improve the quality of life of the human development. He said that main cause of the migration of the people from rural areas to urban is lack of basic facilities, which is very harmful and added that with availability of facilities of the urban areas the rural areas can be developed.

He underline the need of the education and added that through education and basic facilities the agriculture sector can be improved and would give the proper results for the economic development of the Country.

The Vice Chancellor congratulated UNDP and CRDC for joint efforts on the important subject. He announced that the University has allocated Rs 0.2 Million for the CRDC to undertake different research programmes. UNDP representative Zubair Faisal Abassi said that globalisation in perspective of human development is most important. He said that potential towards human development can be improved through proper planning and added that with capacity building to meet the challenges of the globalisation.

He said that the UNDP has initiated different programmes to share knowledge and interaction with the academicians and scholars to learn from them about human development. He said that involvement of the stakeholders in policy making would give the proper results for development of the economy of our Country. Eminent HEC Professor at Sindh University, Former Vice Chancellor of Sindh Agriculture University and Coordinator of the Workshop Dr Rajab Memon emphasised the need of the awareness through dialogue and awareness programmes.

He said that in any area only with collective efforts would be helpful for the meeting fruitful results of the challenges. He said that CRDC has been taking efforts to create awareness among the masses through different academic and educational events and to collaborating with other sister organisations and institutes. CRDC Director Professor Ibadullah Rashidi highlighted objectives of the one-day workshop and progress of the CRDC.

He said that the CRDC established in 2002 has recently initiated one semester diploma on communication development programme. Dean Faculty of Social Sciences Dr Rafia Ahmed Sheikh while presiding over the first working session said that during the past three years Pakistan has experienced a high growth rate and doubling of foreign trade.

Dr Sheikh said that agriculture outputs have provided most valuable foreign exchange especially in the export of agriculture based products, in the textile industry, which gets most of its raw material from agriculture. She said that Pakistan has a very positive potential for agricultural exports, which could result in a significant increase in the income generation. She said that all we need to do is adopt proper and appropriate policies and technologies in the agricultural sector to enhance production.

She said that trend towards globalisation presents new opportunities and challenges' which need to be understood and to be met with by adopting necessary changes in trade policies without losing view of the human development perspective.

Enhancing agricultural production through the provision of better qualities of seeds Dr Sheikh said that appropriate and timely irrigation and proper prices for agricultural products would inevitably result in economic wellbeing amongst the general population especially in the rural areas. Dr Sheikh suggested the government to adopts agricultural friendly policies for the farmers, especially those with small and medium farm holdings and added that steps should be taken in trying to eliminate or at least lessen, corruption, which eats away nation's vital.

President Sindh Abadgar Board and renowned agriculturist Raees Abdul Majeed Nizamani underlined the need of the subsidy to farmers and health environment with basic facilities to the growers in the province of Sindh. He emphasised upon the government to provide small loans on easy way to the growers that they can purchase seed and fertilisers within time and added that management of the distribution of water should be calculated. He urged upon the government to abolish the indirect taxes for the development of the agriculture sector. Zafar Yousifani Vice President of Hyderabad Chamber of Commerce said that government must pay attention on export sector instead of the import.

He said that unplanned imports are the financial burden on the economical condition of the Country. He said that wheat shortage in our country is baseless problems created by the so-called importers and misguided the government. He emphasised search of new markets for the export of fruits, vegetables of the country and added that with export image of the country will be more developed in the business community of the international market.

Courtesy: Business Recorder;

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