January 23, 2015 – BR Report –
Punjab Agriculture Secretary Rashid Mehmood has said that empowerment of small farmers with modern technology is imperative for increased productivity and poverty alleviation in rural areas. Chairing a meeting at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF), he said that the government was devising a mechanism to provide farm machinery at subsidised rates.
He said, “We will hold negotiation with China, Japan, South Korea and other countries to provide efficient and low cost machinery to our farmers.” He said that harvesting of crops took 25 days after maturity time due to lack of mechanical support to small farmers. He urged the experts to give proper guidelines to the farmers about increasing yield. He said that steps were afoot for the development of the agriculture sector. He urged the experts to devise out-of-the-box plan to increase production.
UAF Vice-Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that imbalanced usage of machines and inputs in the field was costing farmers, which could be overcome by giving them awareness and alternative modern farming tools. He said, “We are blessed with fertilised land but lack of resources and awareness are the hurdles to tap its potential.”
He said that resources, including water, were decreasing while on the other hand increasing population and converting of fertilised land into residential colonies were posing a threat to food insecurity. He said that the UAF was taking measures to uplift the agriculture sector. Director General Research Punjab Dr Abid Mehmood said that tangible researches were being carried out to address the issues of food security with high potential yield.