THE farming community has threatened to go on strike if the government does not pay attention to their problems. This threat was made by the Kissan Board at a number of rallies throughout the Punjab which were held to protest the farming community's problems. These include such issues as the availability of irrigation water, but the focus was on the prices of oil products, and of both urea and DAP fertilizers, which are still hoarded, as well as their prices. The Board was merely voicing the opinion of the farming community as a whole when it blamed these factors for the failure of crops to reach targeted sowing, and thus failure to reach targeted yields. It is best to leave aside the President's vain boast of an agriculture-led export revolution. Though once supposed to be the granary of all India before the Partition, modern Pakistan has only come through the latest crises because it could feed itself. That has been put in doubt by the international surge in the prices of oil. The most important input these days, also for operating many tubewells as well as all ploughing and harvesting operations, is diesel. With the price of diesel spiraling, it alone is enough to make agriculture unprofitable, while the hoarding of fertilizers, another crucial input, is merely adding to the farmers' woes. Government officials who are supposed to act as a check are merely in cahoots with the hoarders, and thus the government is responsible for the situation. The normally quiet textile sector, the backbone of our exports, has been on strike in protest. The government must work hard to prevent a second sector, also extremely crucial, from going on strike in protest. It must resolve the fertilizer issue, and bring hoarding to an end. This means manufacture of urea fertilizer, and DAP imports, which are both sufficient and timely. But mainly the government must examine the oil prices very carefully, because reducing them is key to the satisfaction of key sectors of the economy, including agriculture.