Islamabad : Khalid Mehmood Khokhar Wednesday said that corporate farming will attract about Rs100 billion investment in the agriculture sector within three years and help to achieve self-sufficiency in staple food crop production, besides attaining food safety and security in the country.
Addressing a press conference, he dismissed all the misconceptions being created by some elements regarding corporate farming in the country in which they claimed that initiation of corporate farming would deprive the small farmers of their cultivable lands.
He said that under corporate farming the farmer’s clusters would be established to start collaborative farming to enhance the output of all major and minor crops by adopting modern and innovative cultivation technologies and they would be enabled for purchasing of latest tools including tractors, combine harvesters and land levellers.
The farmers would be given their due right through future market practice as it was protecting farmers’ rights around the world, he said adding that they would also provide proper seeds and other agriculture inputs to enhance their farm income to alleviate poverty in the country.
The agriculture sector development was vital for economic development in the country, he said adding that coordinated efforts by all the national institutions were required to uplift local agriculture sector in order to achieve food safety and security.
He said that Pakistan was endowed with huge natural resources and it was need of time to exploit these reserves to achieve sustainable agricultural growth, economic development, and social prosperity. He stressed the need to utilize about 15 million acres of cultivable lands to get rid of the dependency on imported food grains like wheat, sugar, and pulses.
The agriculture sector development was also vital for exports promotions as out of the total $31 billion in exports, over $25 billion was comprised of textiles, $2 billion rice and $2 billion on other agricultural products, he said adding that the corporate farming would help in producing exportable surpluses of crops including rice, wheat, maize and others.
President Kissan Ittehad also urged the government to take immediate measures to ensure minimum support prices of different crops including cotton to protect the farmers from exploitation and ensure a proper rate of return of their produce.
He urged the government to take steps for the revival of farming communities, which were affected due to recent torrential rains and flooding in some districts of the Punjab Province.