June 10, 2014 – BR Report
Pakistan Kisan Ittehad has agreed to postpone sit-in (Dharna) in Islamabad till July 16 on the assurance of Federal Minister for Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Bosan. The Minister told the BR reporter that “we have reviewed the demands of farmers and our government was trying to a feasible agricultural policy to safeguard the interest of the growers as well as consumers and we would soon get rid of middlemen who were fleecing the two sides.”
He assured farmers to resolve their problems duly to be discussed at a high level meeting to be held on next Monday in Islamabad after taking all stakeholders including Ministry of Finance on board. Bosan said he used his influence and convinced farmers to put off their protest because Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has agreed to consider their demands sympathetically.
He said the government was trying to devise an effective agriculture policy, which could benefit both farmers and consumers simultaneously. Bosan said they were trying hard to make farming a profitable field. However, he said, currently farming had become entirely different field comparing to the past as presently 97 percent growers were small farmers containing only about five acre land.
He said agricultural sector would be made profit oriented sector to strengthen the growers economically. The Minister said consumers have purchased potato on higher rates and government was trying to made effective mechanism to bring down the prices at lower level. The Minister said “we would not let the hoarders, profiteers and adulterators for fleecing the consumers during the holy month of Ramazan.”
He said the government had not increased prices of wheat in order to benefit consumers, adding the government would do its best to reduce prices of inputs for cultivating crops. He said the government had decided to import the vegetable from the neighbour country aiming at controlling prices. To another question, the minister said it was the responsibility of provincial governments to control the increasing flour prices to get it within the reach of the masses.