ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan, while requesting media to pay proper attention to agriculture sector, said that this sector has been victim of negative reporting, resulting in loss to 95.7pc small farmers of the country.  He said, “More than 95.7 percent of the country’s farmers, having less than 25 acres of land, actually run the agriculture sector to produce food for people”. Minister further said that welfare policies to uplift these farmers are usually mistaken as benefit to big farm-holders and landlords, having huge lands. He was addressing two-day 2nd PARC and FAO-AAN Share-Mela organised at National Agriculture Research Council (NARC).

The mela has jointly been organised by Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFS&R), Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO-UN) and Society of Facilitators and Trainers (SOFT) at NARC.

Sikandar Bosan said that media should come forward and help in positive policy-making that would definitely help these farmers. He clarified that when the government talks about agriculture development that is development of these 95.7 percent farmers and not others.

He said although farmers having less than 12 acres of land are counted as small farmers, whose percentage is 86 percent, however, in this era, the farmers having less than 25 acres of land should be placed in this category, whose percentage would become 95.7 percent. Commenting on the mela, the federal minister said that such events should also organised at provincial, district and even at union council levels where farmers can meet and share their experience for the uplift of agriculture sector.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Dr Iftikhar Ahmad said that research could only be successful when it reaches to the farmers, so a lot of work is still to be done to take the research results to practicing farmers.

He said that innovations and new technologies should reach to the farmers who can enhance their produce with proper application of these techniques. He said that language has emerged as one of the biggest barriers for scientists in reaching the farmers, so PARC was arranging programmes to enhance interaction between farmers to provide them a platform to share their experience for the development of agriculture sector. 

Speaking on the occasion, Representative of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Pakistan, Patrick T. Evan said that the aim of FAO was to ensure food security and nutrition, economic development and build capacity for promising results. He said that FAO was working with governments, at both federal and provincial levels to develop agriculture sector which has great potential to flourish.