BAHAWALPUR: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday described farmers as an “asset” for the country and said the government was following a vision to double their income to achieve higher economic growth, ensure food security and check poverty and inflation.
“We have a vision to double the income of farmers. They will invest their income in agriculture, which will benefit Pakistan and help reduce poverty, decrease prices of food items and check price-hike,” the prime minister said while addressing Kissan Convention.
The pime minister mentioned by enhancing support prices of various agricultural crops including wheat, sugarcane and maize, the growers secured Rs1,100 billion of additional income during the previous fiscal year.
He further said that with the initial two years spent on economic stabilization, the government has put the country on the path of economy recovery and achieved around 4% GDP growth in year 2020-21.
He also launched the provincial government’s Kissan Card scheme. Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar and Special Assistant to PM for National Food Security Jamshed Iqbal Cheema were also present at the convention.
PM Imran Khan said that as farmers were the country’s precious asset, and the Kissan Convention will send a clear message that the country will move forward by helping the farmers.
He said that with a mere 26,000 growers having agricultural lands of over 125 acres each, the country had around 8.4 million hardworking small farmers, who were the core of this country as well as the agriculture sector.
He noted that contrary to the past, when sugarcane growers had to sell their produce at lower rates due to exploitation by the powerful sugar millers, the growers this year got higher prices and earned extra profits due to the passage of a law which bounded the sugar millers to start crushing of the produce at particular dates.
He said that due to the record production of wheat, sugar rice, and maize this year, the growers earned Rs1,100 billion of extra income.
He said that the unprecedented higher sales of motorcycles in the rural areas also depicted an increase in the income of farmers. He, however, added that growth in the country’s agricultural production did not match with population growth.
He said that despite a bumper wheat crop, the country had to import 4 million tons of wheat to cater to the needs of people. He stressed the need for enhanced research and development in agriculture to achieve higher production of various crops.
He said that the provision of Kissan Cards by the provincial government to the farmers in Punjab will help them getting direct subsidy on various agricultural inputs.
He assured that the federal as well as the provincial governments will extend every possible to the farmers to bring about prosperity in the country and for the wellbeing of people in rural areas.