PBF demands more relief, effective steps for agri sector

LAHORE:Pakistan Businesses Forum (PBF) on Saturday urged the government to announce more relief and effective measures for agriculture sector in the upcoming federal budget for financial year 2021-22.

Talking to media here, the PBF Vice President Ahmad Jawad stressed the need for reducing prices of agri inputs such as fertilizer, seeds, besides low power tariff for agri tube-wells. He also urged the government to support farmers in purchase of machinery, fertilizers, pesticides and other inputs.

Like Textile Policy, he added, a workable Horticulture and Agriculture Export Policy, in consultation with all stakeholders, needed to be introduced in the next budget.

Ahmad Jawad also suggested the government to announce incentive package in the budget for the horticulture industry as global trade of this industry crossed US $ 200 billion. He asserted that government should allocate funds to promote the hybrid seed industry in Pakistan under private-public partnership (PPP) to increase per-acre productivity. “The world is focusing on the use of certified seed for enhancing agriculture productivity due to better profitability and international recognition,” he mentioned.

PBF President called for setting up different projects including cool chain infrastructure, ripening centres, food processing and value addition industry, agro-processing industry and accredited testing laboratories at special economic zones under PPP mode to ensure availability of good quality produce for exports.

Soft loan scheme for new agriculture graduates for promoting agricultural services should also be priority in the budget, he proposed.