ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nasir-ul-Mulk has advised the Ministry of National Food Security and Research to work out a comprehensive plan to address the existing challenges and promote welfare of the farmers, especially the small farmers, so that the agriculture sector could be transformed into a vibrant sector of the economy.

The prime minister observed that low productivity, high cost of production, water scarcity and weak technology transfer linkages were some of the major challenges that needed immediate attention.

Prime Minister Nasir-ul-Mulk was briefed Thursday about the agriculture sector of the country and various efforts being made by Ministry of National Food Security and Research to overcome existing challenges and ensure food security in the country besides increasing the overall contribution of the sector towards economy.

The briefing, held at Prime Minister’s office, was attended by Minister for National Food Security and Research Muhammad Azam Khan, secretary to Prime Minister Suhail Aamir, secretary NFS&R Fazal Abbas Maken, chairman PARC Dr Yusuf Zafar and senior officials.

Secretary NFS&R, while briefing the prime minister, stated that agricultural sector was contributing 18.9pc to GDP and employing 42.3pc of the total labour force. It was informed that the growth rate of agriculture sector was recorded at 3.8pc last year as compared to average rate of 2.13pc during past five years.

The secretary also briefed the prime minister about various aspects of National Food Security Policy that aims at achieving food security, promotion of sustainable food production systems and poverty alleviation.

The prime minister appreciated the ministry and its attached departments for their efforts towards strengthening the agriculture sector, ensuring food security in the country and promoting welfare of the farmers and agriculturists.