LCCI hails Bosan for ban on tomato import from India

26.09.2017

Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) on Monday appreciated the announcement of Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan not to import tomatoes from India and termed it a step in right direction.

LCCI President Abdul Basit stated here that Sikandar Hayat Bosan deserved appreciation as this step would encourage the local farmer to grow more, besides saving huge foreign exchange. He added the country had all resources to feed the population therefore local grower should be facilitated to the maximum and their issues should be resolved on priority.

Abdul Basit urged the government to add to the cropped area to avoid any crisis-like situation, asserting, "We cannot afford to stay where we are today in terms of cropped areas and per hectare yield because we are already running well short of per capita food availability."

Though Pakistan's almost 43 percent labour force was dependent upon agriculture, he added, the yield gap in the four major crops of Pakistan was three times from the best producers in the world such as China and Egypt.

They said that low yield has contributed to the poverty in rural areas besides forcing country to import agriculture produces to feed its population.

He cited that fact should be an eye-opener that China produced two times more cotton and wheat per hectare and Egypt produced around three times more rice and sugarcane per hectare as compared to Pakistan.

LCCI President said, "Factors which are recommended to improve the yield are through large scale introduction of hybrid seeds and mechanized farming, high efficiently irrigation systems such as drip irrigation and reduction in wastage of crop through introduction of privately owned storage facilities and cold storage facilities."

Abdul Basit said that 21st century belonged to biotechnology and Pakistan had tremendous potential to emerge as Biotechnology leader but to achieve the goal private sector, scientists, researchers and government would have to work hand in hand.

He was of the view said that Pakistan's agriculture sector was losing heavily due to insufficient utilization of biotechnology as the magic progress of agriculture sector was only due to Genetically Modified crops.

They said that agriculture sector in Pakistan has a huge potential.

It continued to be the single largest and dominant driving force for growth as well as the main source of livelihood for 66 percent of Pakistan's population, but it had always faced two major problems: first, productions per acre were lower than many countries and secondly, around 40 percent of production was wasted in the form of post-harvest losses due to insufficient utilization of biotechnology, he maintained.

Abdul Basit said that Pakistan was a sleeping technology giant, the day it got up, Pakistan would be another China.


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