Pakistan is an agricultural country with 70 percent of the population directly or indirectly related to agriculture. It contributes a major proportion of our GDP. For the last few years, this sector has been facing a crisis like situation. The price of fertilizer, pesticide, diesel and labour cost has increased manifold but the prices paid to the farmers have not increased proportionately. If the government is helpless to enhance the rates of the home-grown produces then it should give subsidy on fertilizers and pesticides.
The price of diesel is not at par with international market rates. In fact, the government is earning a huge profit from the high prices charged to the consumer. The increase in diesel price severely hits the agri-sector. The input cost of grower is more than output. Currently, small farmers are abandoning their land uncultivated as they have no purchasing power to buy fertilizers and pesticides. This predicament is very alarming. The concerned authorities should pay attention. If we lose this major contributor to our economy, we will see escalation in prices of raw material and vegetables and other items. We will then have to spend more in importing them at a higher price. All efforts should be made to a complete revival of our agriculture. The continuous corruption on every level needs to be curtailed so that the common man can survive in this country.
Dr Aman-Ur-Rehman,
Lahore, October 3.