The SAU urges to give importance to the agricultural sector

Ahead of national and provincial budgets, agronomists, experts and officials from Sindh Agricultural University (UAS) and Agricultural Research, Extension, Private Sector and Progressive Farmers during the pre-budget session recommended giving importance to the agricultural sector in the country at all times. In order to improve the economic situation, the agricultural sector was declared as a hope for the development of the country.

A pre-budget session meeting organized by Sindh University of Agriculture (SAU) was held at the University Rest House, chaired by Dr. Fateh Marri, SAU Vice Chancellor.

Dr Nihaluddin Marri and Dr Nabi Bakhsh Jamro from Agriculture Research Sindh, Dr Islamuddin Rajput, Additional Director, Agriculture Extension Sindh, Dr Aijaz Ali Khoharo Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, SAU, Dr Muhammad Ismail Kambhar, Dr Thamina Mustafa Nagraj, Syed Mehmood Nawaz Shah, Syed Nadeem Shah, Nabi Bux Sathio from Farmer Organizations, Zubair Channar and Abdul Haque from Forestry Department and others participated.

Dr. Tehmina Mustafa Nagraj from SAU gave a briefing on the importance and opportunities of agriculture and livestock, for the economic development of the country.

Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chancellor Dr. Fateh Marri said there was room for research in agriculture, animal husbandry and its by-products, pure seeds, high animal breeds and investment in it for further research. While the private sector should also invest in agribusiness, by-products and agro-tourism, he said higher yields including wheat, cotton and dairy could be achieved, adding that all agricultural products should be produced to export standards.

He said if research was done to increase cotton production per acre up to 5 mounds, then Pakistan would be on the road to development. Therefore, all stakeholders should be consulted before formulating an agricultural budget and policy.

Sindh Abadgar Board (SAB) Deputy Chairman Syed Mehmood Nawaz Shah said agro-ecological zones should be established in the country, the marketing system should be improved, importance should be given rain harvesting technology, instead of importing edible oil, legumes and other foodstuffs, ensuring their production and allocating more budget to research,

Nabi Bux Sathio, Deputy Chairman of Sindh Chamber of Agriculture, said that due to lack of marketing system and pricing mechanism in the country, farmers are not benefiting from agricultural production, while that the commissionaire sets the prices of agricultural products, so all agricultural marketing is done online. He said that due to non-implementation of agricultural policy, the acreage of sugarcane and rice cultivation has increased due to non-implementation of agricultural policy, and since 2016. Rice is planted on over 200,000 acres.

He said agriculture should be given importance in Tharparkar, Kohistan and other regions and agriculture in the lower delta should be developed. He said there should be a forum for the ministers of agriculture, irrigation, food, livestock and forestry in the province, who should meet once a month and set their agricultural development objectives and also examine it while involving farmers’ organizations in consultation. ,

Syed Nadeem Shah said if the dairy farmer raises the price of milk by five rupees, then everyone criticizes him, and they complain, but if Tetra Pack tariffs increase in the industry, nobody asks them. He said subsidies should be given to farmers on certified seeds and other products in the country. There are various facilities, including subsidies to farmers in Punjab compared to Sindh, and more work is being done on domestic agribusiness and by-products.

ARI’s Nihal Marri said that there is salinity in the soil of Sindh, therefore, importance should be given to salty fruit forests in these regions, and the growing population on the lush lands should be stopped. .

Dr. Nabi Bakhsh Jamro from Agriculture Research Sindh said palm oil and other crops should be planted in coastal areas which would generate a lot of income.

Dr. Islamuddin Rajput, Additional Director, Agriculture Extension, said modern technology is expected to reach the common farmer and Zubair Channar from the Department of Forestry said 100 billion could be earned through Horticulture Crop Value Edition.

Abdul Haque from the Forest Department said a telemetry system should be activated in the province and crops should be monitored based on rainfall and weather conditions.

During the meeting, it was decided that all the proposals will be forwarded to the federal and provincial government to include these recommendations in the next budget before the budget, and to increase the GDP of the country by giving importance to agriculture.

Professor Dr. Muhammad Ismail Kumbhar, Dr. Jam Murtaza Sahito and others participated in the pre-budget session on agriculture.

Lana T. Arthur