Islamabad - Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called upon the government to pay priority attention to improving agriculture productivity in order to ensure food security for its teeming millions as food crisis was emerging a major issue for the country.

Muzzamil Hussain Sabri, President, Muhammad Shakeel Munir, Senior Vice President, and Muhammad Ashfaq Hussain Chatha, Vice President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that according to a national nutrition survey, 60 percent population of Pakistan was facing food insecurity which should be a major cause of concern for the policymakers. They said more than 70% population of Pakistan was directly or indirectly depending on agriculture, but its decreasing productivity was pushing the country towards serious food crisis. They said per acre agriculture productivity in Pakistan was around 2.6 tons per hectare as compared to India’s 2.8 ton and China’s 4.7 ton per hectare. Similarly, rice yield in Pakistan was 3.1 ton per hectare compared to 3.3 ton in India and 4.2 ton in Bangladesh and 6.1 ton per hectare in China. The recent report released by Food and Agriculture Organization has also confirmed that agriculture productivity in Pakistan was low compared to regional economies. They said it was unfortunate that despite having one of the best irrigation systems in the world, Pakistan could not achieve better agriculture productivity and government should come forward to support farmers in improving per acre yield. They said government should establish a network of agriculture research facilities and ensure high yielding certified seeds, adulteration free pesticides and fertilizers to farmers at affordable cost so that they could achieve better productivity. They said government should cooperate with farmers in adopting modern technology & machinery, value addition of agro-products and facilitate them in mechanized farming. They stressed that farmers should also be provided latest trainings to utilize modern methods of cultivation and harvesting which will greatly help the country in coping with food crisis and ensuring food security for its whole population.

They were of the view that with proper support and cooperation of the government, Pakistan has tremendous potential to enhance its agriculture productivity and promote trade and exports of value added agro-products throughout the world which could put the country on sustainable economic growth.