Islamabad - Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) yesterday said that 60 per cent working women in SAARC region are linked to agriculture that can be lifted out of poverty by focusing on its promotion.

President of PBIF Mian Zahid Hussain said that women were kept poor and unprotected in many countries across the world and the matter needed to be addressed seriously. All the countries stress importance of female education but their share in economy is very small which is hindering their development, he added. In a statement issued here yesterday, he said that majority of the women working in agriculture sector were not paid while they were also kept away from critical decision.

He said that government should focus on agriculture to support farmers and improve their standard of living.

The issues facing this sector should be resolved and provision of loans should be facilitated.

Improvement in the lives of farming communities would boost share of agriculture in the GDP while expanding reach of microfinance banks would also be a great help to them.

Mian Zahid Hussain called for special emphasis on agricultural insurance to mitigate risks farmers face every year.