Tariq Bashir Cheema, the Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research, stated that Pakistan’s agriculture and livestock productivity is less than half of its economic potential.
On June 7, 2022, he spoke at the Prime Minister’s pre-budget conference on agriculture. The Ministry of National Food Security and Research, according to Tariq Bashir Cheema, has collaborated closely with the Planning Commission and all provinces to draught a 3-Year Growth Strategy for sector development and food security.
Enhancing farm production and farmer earnings, developing climate-smart agriculture by embracing regenerative agricultural methods, self-sufficiency, import-substitution, and value-adding and agro-processing are the four primary pillars of the plan.
According to the Federal Minister, Pakistan’s crop and livestock productivity are less than half of its economic potential. Profits for farmers are typically low and highly volatile.
Higher and more concentrated expenditures in research and development, quick mechanization, and adoption of climate-smart regenerative agriculture methods will lower production costs, boost farmer income, and save more than half of irrigation water and chemical inputs.
According to Tariq Bashir Cheema, we must focus on genetic improvements for high-yielding crop cultivars, ensure an adequate and timely supply of inputs (water, seeds, fertilizer, pesticides), and announce the support price at least three months before the start of the cropping season, while minimizing post-harvest losses and improving processing and packaging techniques.
The livestock sector, according to the Federal Minister, requires genetic improvements for high-yielding livestock breeds, adequate and timely healthcare, improved feeds and feeding techniques, value addition to livestock products (dairy and beef/mutton), and identification of policy measures to boost agriculture sector exports through more trade agreements.
He went on to say that developing policy reforms/actions for a growth strategy in the agriculture sector is critical in order to raise exports, replace exports, and/or achieve self-sufficiency.