Lahore, April 18, 2019 (PPI-OT): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the government to declare emergency in agriculture sector and extend full support to the catastrophe-hit growers. In a statement, the LCCI President Almas Hyder said that devastating rains and floods have caused huge damage to the wheat and other crops that has not only pushed the growers in Central and Southern Punjab to the wall but has also posed serious food security challenges as over 150,000 tons of standing and ready to cut wheat crop is damaged only in Punjab that is known as food basket of Pakistan.
Almas Hyder called for an immediate survey to assess the actual damages of crops and compensation to the growers. He said that hailstorms have not only destroyed the ready to harvest crop of wheat but sowing of cotton and other crops will also be delayed that is not a good omen for the economy at all.
“Pakistan needs to make its agriculture sector strongest through policy reforms and supportive policies as it is backbone of the economy”, the LCCI President added and said that if we stayed where we are today in terms of cropped area and yield per hectare, we will have around 30% less food available per capita in next two decades.”
He said that though Pakistan’s almost 43% labour force is dependent upon agriculture, the yield gap in the four major crops of Pakistan is three times from the best producers in the world such as China and Egypt. He said that low yield has contributed to the poverty in rural areas besides forcing country to import agriculture produces to feed its population.
He said that China produces two times more cotton and wheat per hectare and Egypt produces around three times more rice and sugarcane per hectare as compared to Pakistan. The LCCI Senior Vice President Khawaja Shahzad Nasir and Vice President Faheem-ur-Rehman Saigal said that relief measures should be taken immediately as growers in Punjab are on the verge of collapse. They borrowed for seeds, pesticides and for other expenses. Farmers will be defaulter if immediate rescue measures are not taken.
For more information, contact:
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Category: General Business News