June 03, 2014
Experts at a workshop on Saturday called for introducing sustainable agriculture policy in Sindh province in order to enhance livelihood for farmers and alleviate poverty. They also established Forum headed by SEARCH Pakistan for ensuring farmers-friendly agriculture policy in the province.
“Spurious fertilizer, pesticides and uncertified seeds are being used in Sindh lands which have badly affected agriculture sector, said Professor Dr Fateh Mohammad Soomro of Sindh Agriculture University Tando Jam while addressing the consultative workshop on sustainable agriculture in Sindh organized by SEARCH Pakistan in collaboration with Action Aid Pakistan at SPO office Hyderabad.
Soomro said that Sindh had witnessed ineffective agriculture policies due to inefficiency of officials who were assigned to formulate these policies. These officials even did not know what is pesticide and seeds. He stressed the need to educate farmers about use of right seeds and fertilizer.
He said that there is need to ensure sustainable agriculture policy and implement it in real sense. We also require need-based agriculture policy. Agriculture plays vital role in contribution to GDP and employment; hence, it is must to give more importance to this sector.
SEARCH Pakistan Executive Director Waheed Jamali said Sindh is running without agriculture policy after the passage of 18th Amendment which is great loss. He called for immediate formulation of sustainable agriculture policy. He said population during the last three decades has increased from 65 million to 180 million in Pakistan and is expected to increase to 234 million by 2025 reaching 357 million by 2050 on the basis of UN medium variant projection (assuming to drop from total fertility rate (TFR) of 5 children per woman to 2.1 during the next 25 years)
He said world-wide arable land is already less than 0.2 ha per capita at present, and is expected to further shrink to 0.15 in 2050. Situation is extremely alarming in Pakistan, where per capita land availability has progressively declined to 0.15 ha at present, shrinking further to 0.06 ha by 2050.
Jamali said similarly, the per capita water availability has dropped from 5600 cu meters to 1200 cu meters, which could slip further to the water-deficient level below 1000 cu meters per year by 2010 onwards.
Parveen, Regional Program Officer, Action Aid Pakistan, Sindh and Balochistan, hailed SEARCH Pakistan for organising lucrative workshop on agriculture sector and said that it would provide result-oriented suggestions for formulating sustainable agriculture policy in Sindh.
Taj Marri, Co-ordinator, Bhandar Sanghat, said the country had witnessed three ineffective land reforms during Ayub and ZA Bhutto government regime. Nawaz and Benazir also brought land reforms in which state land was distributed among landless. Most of lands were distributed without facility of water as result these lands could not be cultivated.
He said that there is need to bring result-oriented land reforms in the country. He said that farmers need basic rights without which sustainable agriculture policy could not be ensured. Mustafa Baloch Regional Head of SPO, Punhal Sario, President, Sindh Hari Porhiyat Council, Engr Abdul Razzaque Umrani, Regional Manager HANDS South Sindh and other also spoke on the occasion. -PR