Unrealising the realization`

Center for Global and Strategic Studies (CGSS) organized a session to highlight the crisis of agriculture sector, its great potential of early revival and increase in output if result oriented long term policies are implemented. The Kisan package of Rs.342 billion announced in May 2016 did not benefit small farmers and growth in agriculture remained less than one percent. The agriculture emergency programme of Rs.309 billion of the present government does not provide short term solution to address the inefficiencies of this sector.The experts emphasised for quality research, use of advance technology and maximum public sector investment to increase productivity.

Farmers of subsistence farming face great challenges like shifting of cropping pattern, high input cost, non- availability of water at a proper time and above all manipulative practices of cartel mafia at the time of selling out their products. Therefore, the farmers’ community is shifting their focus to raising such crops that require low input cost. The relief packages, which have been announced so far, had not benefited small farmers in the provinces of Punjab and Sindh.

The agriculture sector is in deep crisis over the past two decades and farmers are not getting the price of their produce commensurate with the net rate of return, which must not be less than the ratio of 2. Reasonable minimum support price along with subsidy on inputs will improve this ratio. Cotton growers have expressed disappointment over the delay in the announcement of minimum support price for cotton. An area of 15-20 percent has been brought under cultivation till date against the desired target of 60 percent. Cotton is the basic raw material for the textile industry and exports as well. But its growers are getting the worst deal over the past several years, making the country dependent on its import to meet the domestic demand. A comprehensive long term agriculture policy is needed to address the burning problems of farmers.