According to newspaper reports, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has stressed the need for establishing public and private partnership to strengthen and promote agriculture sector. In the view of growing population, which has increased by 57 percent since the last census held in 1999, the country needs assurance of food security which could only be achieved if the farming sector is improved. The United Nations has already kept Pakistan in the group of countries which are threatened by food scarcity in the coming years. Meanwhile, the country has acquired the position of the fifth most populated country in the world from sixth position in nearly two decades. The agriculture is the most neglected sector in the country despite the fact that Pakistan is labelled as the agrarian economy. The small land owners hardly make both ends meet due to shrinking of land and most of them still use old methods of cultivation. More work and little yield always keep them in the lower income groups. The big land owners have more interest in other things than agriculture as most of them have already shifted to the posh localities of cities and land is just is a matter of pride and not a main source of income for them.
In his meeting with farmers, the prime minister has discussed a host of issues relating to the agriculture sector, including cost of production, methods to improve per acre yield and market ability of the agricultural products which sometime perish in the fields due to low sale prices in the market. The agriculture sector has vast export potentials and there is a need to explore new opportunities under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. As water is depleting in rivers, the farmers have to rely on artificial methods of irrigation but electricity is in short supply and expensive. This renders the agriculture produces uncompetitive in the international markets. Though the government has its share of responsibility to boost the agriculture sector, but the farming community should also take initiatives to improve the situation. Despite the fact that the corporate sector has various evils, still it has merits and can play a vital role in the development of agriculture sector and contribute toward economic growth. It is all about the matter of priorities. The agriculture sector alone can push the country into the first world economies, but prudent policies, commitment and management are the basic factors to achieve the goals.