FPCCI should not ignore agriculture sector: JawadMarch 7, 2016
KARACHI: Agriculture desk at FPCCI is required to the formation of considerable efforts which have been put into devising policies and suggestions for the government that would increase farm income, productivity, and global competitiveness of agriculture sector, said FPCCI Standing Committee’s former chairman, Ahmad Jawad.
He said: “Last year, I had sent a detail proposal to the federation for the formation of agriculture desk but no concrete measures were taken till now, which shows un-seriousness of the organisation towards the important sector which is backbone of the economy.”
It is required that forging international cooperation for showcasing, broad basing new technologies, and possible collaborative opportunities for the benefit of all the stakeholders in agri value chain. Jawad said agriculture is playing a key role in Pakistan’s economy, if our agriculture has to be globally competitive, it needs investment in infrastructure that can promote efficiency by reducing transaction costs and market risks. It has been estimated that loss of primary produce before reaching the market due to lack of proper handling, cleaning, sorting, grading and packaging facilities at the village level.
Though agriculture has been suffering from major roadblocks which have hindered its growth. Problems have existed at each stage of the value chain. The unreasonably long supply chain results in a steep increase in the total cost owing to procurement, transit and other taxes and service charges levied at various layers. Due to such inefficiencies in the supply chain, it has been estimated that the price received by the farmers is only in the range of 25-40% of what the consumer pays. Strengthening supply chain can benefit the consumers and producers which is required now for the real transformation.
Jawad also proposed following objectives which FPCCI may be adopted for the establishment of agriculture desk as follows. Identify major bottlenecks that hinder the growth of Pakistan agriculture, sensitize all stakeholders including the federal and the provincial governments to catalyze the necessary policy changes that are needed to make this sector more vibrant and competitive; addressing the conflicting domestic policies relating to production, procurement, pricing and distribution, rising Minimum Support Prices, ineffective subsidy system, regulated domestic markets, lack of infrastructure facilities, low productivity, low value addition, and export policies; and define measures to attain a higher trajectory growth in agriculture in order to compete in the global market.