Agriculture is the lifeline of Pakistan’s economy: Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari


ISLAMABAD, JUN 17 /DNA/ – President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari has said that the agricultural sector can play a very key role in increasing exports and reducing imports. In the last one year, the trade deficit has reduced from 17 billion dollars to 3 billion dollars Because of  measures taken by the government. In order to completely eliminate the deficit, attention should be paid to increasing the export of fruits, vegetables and other agricultural commodities. Promotion of research is necessary to increase the efficiency of the agricultural sector. Government should mobilize embassies to promote Pakistani products to new markets of the world.

He expressed these views yesterday while talking to the members of the Agro Committee of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce who met him under the chairmanship of the Convener Committee Chaudhry Sohail. President Islamabad Chamber said that being an agricultural country, agriculture is the lifeline for the Pakistani economy. Pakistan achieved a record production of 27.5 million tons of wheat this year despite the devastating floods. Similarly, Pakistan ranks fifth with 88.7 million tons of sugarcane, 10th with 9.3 million tons of rice, 20th with 10 million tons of maize, 5th with 2.3 million tons of mango and sixth with 2.1 million tons of onion production. .

Pakistan should take steps to take its agricultural products to traditional as well as non-traditional markets, focusing on Central Asian countries. For the agriculture sector, the results of the Prime Minister Kisan package given by the government have been seen this year in the form of record production of wheat, the government should not only extend this package but also increase the incentives.

He said that like other industries of the country, the fruit and vegetable industry is facing problems due to high production costs. Fruit orchards in Pakistan have become very old, which has affected the production on the one hand, and on the other hand, due to the decline in quality, there are problems in exports. Mangoes and Kinnu have a major share in Pakistan’s agricultural exports, but this year, mango exports have decreased by 20%, while Kinnu exports have decreased from 220 million dollars to 110 million dollars, which is a big blow to the government’s export promotion policy. The government should promote research and development in the agricultural sector.

In this regard, money should be allocated in the budget. Cold storage is a big problem for the fruits and vegetables sector of Pakistan. Electricity prices for the cold storage industry should be fixed on a prospective basis. He said that although the federal budget has been presented in the parliament, but before approval, the government should announce all possible incentives to increase the production and export of the agricultural sector.

Speaking on this occasion, Convener Agro Committee Chaudhry Sohail said that we want to take steps to increase the export of fruits and vegetables from this region through the platform of Islamabad Chamber.

The government should ensure the exhibitions of the agricultural sector at the local and international level. He said that this sector is facing a severe shortage of cold storage, cold storage warehouses should be built at all airports for the storage of Pakistani agricultural commodities. Chaudhry Bashir, Naseebullah Khan, Babar Chaudhry, Khalid Chaudhry and others were also present in the meeting.