AGRICULTURE is the backbone of the country’s economy. The government’s Rs1,800 billion Kissan Package for farmers is clearly insufficient. These farmers do not have the capital to purchase expensive seeds and fertilisers. The government package is being given too late.
The prices of agricultural inputs should also be reduced along with prompt and efficient provision of loans.
The problems are many. The floods have hit the farmers the most. People associated with the agriculture sector have become victims of economic disaster.
The crops standing on millions of acres across the country have been destroyed by floods. Claims of boosting the economy with this package are mere illusions. The situation is much worse than that. More than one million tonnes of wheat has been imported, and providing only 1.2 million bags of certified wheat seeds to farmers in flood-affected areas is peanuts.
If the government really wants to put the agriculture sector back on its feet, it needs to adopt a long-term policy instead of opting for one-off measures.
The agriculture sector stands completely destroyed. Sugarcane production has decreased by eight per cent, rice by 40pc and cotton by 24pc. What are we waiting for?
Imran ul Haq
Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2022