Experts urge government to create special industrial zones with cold storages

by index360

Lahore: The government needs to focus on supporting small and marginalized farmers and promote small scale innovative technologies to promote growth in this sector, said Doctor Kauser Malik, Director Pakistan Biotechnology Information Center (PABIC).

While speaking during a webinar titled ‘Covid-19, an opportunity to reform the Agriculture system of Pakistan’, organize by PABIC in collaboration with CropLife Pakistan and Forman Christian Collage University Lahore on Wednesday, Malik said that crop biotechnology has all the ways to make the agricultural sector of Pakistan to flourish but a lot of strategic planning is needed in streamlining the biotechnology products in the country.

“Government should play a leading role to ensure food security and control price. Introduce special industrial zones in every farm district, equipped with cold storages, food-processing units, connected with retail chains and export industries. Improving water management is key as the four major crops (rice, wheat, sugar cane and cotton) consume 80% of water but contribute only 5% cent to GDP. Improving the nexus of agriculture, education, training and research and technology is the need of the hour.” Malik explained.

Prof Doctor Iqbal Choudhary, the Coordinator General COMSTECH, said that during pandemic period the science has demonstrated the true spirit of researchers to find solutions under limited national capacity.

Doctor Sianghee Tan, Executive Director CropLife Asia said that the global pandemic has wreaked havoc on food supply systems in Pakistan and across Asia. Existing issues across the food value chain have been exposed and exacerbated by COVID-19, while new ones have been created as well.

“Our responsibility as stakeholders is to ensure the men and women who drive food security across the region are supported to do just that. This includes providing policies that enable and empower our farmers to produce more safe and nutritious food on less land and with fewer impacts to the world around us,” he added.

At this occasion, Doctor Yusuf Zafar – Former Chairman Pakistan Agriculture Research Council gave talk on wake-up call to modernize the grain storage and reporting systems in Pakistan. He said that the way forward is revisiting the procurement policies, incentivizing the private sector for grain storage and involving foreign investment to develop modern storage and handling system. He further added that strong coordination between API, PBS, SUPRCO and Provincial CRS departments is crucial for the success of this sector.”

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