ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam called a meeting of the ministry on Friday to discuss major issues and concerns being raised by the farming community in the country and decided to hold a biweekly meeting from now on to monitor and evaluate the situation properly.

Stating that there were 8.4 million farmers in Pakistan and that the agriculture sector was the country’s backbone, Mr Imam discussed production cost issues, particularly the availability of certified seeds, prices of fertilisers, the impact of GST imposed by the government on farm implements and electricity tariff.

The farming community across the country has been protesting against the non-availability and rising prices of fertilisers, electricity and other agricultural inputs, including the impact of recent imposition of GST on farm implements and seeds.

The minister told the meeting that though environmental factors were beyond government’s control, all other dynamics of the agriculture sector could be and would be regulated by the government in order to create a conducive environment for growers.

“Awareness is critical to achieving higher productivity in the agricultural sector and facilitating farmers will help the agriculture sector take off,” he observed.

The purpose of the forum was to address and resolve farmers’ issues, he said.

Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2022

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