Trade between Pakistan and India should be promoted by protecting the rights of stakeholders particularly the growers. It was recommended by the roundtable conference titled “improving economic governance in agricultural sector through trade liberalisation between Pakistan and India” arranged at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad.
The recommendation was made by the UAF Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan while Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) Pro Chancellor Syed Babar Ali, MNA and Parliamentary Secretary Rana Afzal, Farmers Association Pakistan President Tariq Bucha and other progressive farmers were present on the occasion. While informing the audience about recommendations, the Vice Chancellor suggested the identification of the seasonal window for the commodities.
He quoted the examples of potato which has peak season in August and September in India and in Pakistan it has the peak season in October and November. The conference also recommended that trust deficit between the two countries needs to be bridged through dialogue. The strengthening of the domestic production market is also essential to tap the potential of the sector.
The Vice Chancellor said India is the big market of around one billion of the people. He said the trade with the seasonal window would open up new chapter of progress. He also sought the policy interventions in this regard to flourish the sector in Pakistan. He said India is providing the highest subsidy on the electricity. Even in the Indian Punjab, the subsidy on tube wells is amounting to Rs 1trillion. Syed Babar Ali said we need to tap the potential in flourishing the agricultural sector by promoting the state-of-the-art technologies in the country.
He said China has made tremendous work in the garlic. Our country can do the same. We have to get the benefit from others experience. He said 70 percent of the population is directly or indirectly linked to the agricultural sector that must be strengthened. He also suggested setting up entrepreneurship cell at the UAF in order to equip the youth with the skill and to transform the knowledge into goods and services.
MNA Rana Afzal said the Government is making all-out efforts to strengthen the agricultural sector in the country. He said the recommendations to be made before the government. He said agriculture is the backbone of our economy, contributing 21 percent in the Gross Domestic Product. Tariq Bucha urged the government to take the tangible steps to address the issues of the farming community. He said at least ten percent of the budget must be allocated for the agricultural sector. He said in the process of trade policy formulation, the farmers must be taken on board. ORIC Director Professor Dr Asif Ali, Dr Abdul Ghafoor, Dr Waseem Ahmad, Dr Mubashair Mehdi, Director Ayub Agriculture Research Institute Dr Abid Mehmood, Aiwan-e-Zarat President Dr Sadique Naseem and others also attended the meeting.
Source: Business Recorder