The Senate Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research has called upon the Federal and Provincial governments to further improve coordination and institutional linkages in Research and Development (R&D) to uplift the agricultural sector of the country. The Committee was presided over by its Chairman Syed Muzafar Hussain Shah at the Parliament House on Wednesday. The meeting was attended by senentors Najma hameed, Seemee Ezdi,Sajjad hussain turi,and Minister for food and security alongwith senior officers from ministry, ZTBL, PASCO, IRSA, MNFSR and PARC.
Committee observed that agriculture is of utmost importance for the socio – economic wellbeing of the country and vibrant policies are required to boost this sector. Chairman of the Committee said that the decrease in cotton cultivation and problems being faced by the growers need immediate attention of the policy makers. He proposed that the ministry should hold a consultative session with all the stake holders to improve cotton productivity, resolve issues and assist the growers to get more profit. He further proposed that the growers should be given subsidy on machinery; however, the stake holders can better come up with new solutions to facilitate the cotton growth. He also emphasized adoption of new mechanism for increasing yield per acre through introducing drip irrigation system and other innovative approaches.
The Committee stressed the need for making the upcoming wheat seminars more result oriented through increased participation and enhanced linkages and it demanded to evolve institutional mechanism to meet the trend of international market as well. Syed Muzafar Hussain Shah said that the wheat seminars being planned should cover broad spectrum of issues related to wheat swing, growing, processing and preservation. Managing Director (PASCO) informed that one hundred thousand of wheat has been exported without any subsidy and further demand for wheat has been received, however, they are waiting for permission from the federal government in this regard. Chairman of the Committee appreciated PASCO for exporting wheat without any subsidy. While discussing the report by ZTBL on disbursement of credits with district wise breakup for the season Rabi 2018, committee demanded a report from ZTBL of loan schemes for agricultural machinery and its progress.
Committee also condemned the import of different crops being import from neighbor country India which has negative impact on our local agriculture sector.
Chairman of the Committee urged the government to evolve a law or regulation for introducing zoning system for crops. “Zones be created for each crop where no other crop should be allowed to grow”. Chairman of the Committee observed this while seeking views from the federal government with a direction to a certain the view of provincial governments on the matter.