Pakistan needs to modernise agriculture to boost yield: WealthPK

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan needs to adopt modern methods and increase the use of technology to enhance yield, promote the agriculture sector and make the country self-sufficient in food, according to experts.
Muhammad Wajid from National Agriculture Research Centre (NARC) told WealthPK that Pakistan had great potential for boosting agriculture production but it needed to pay attention to the sector and use modern technology and tools for enhancing yield per acre. He added that the development of the agriculture sector would help the country to save the foreign exchange.
“The main reason for importing seeds is the shortage of modern technology in the country. The use of modern technology in the agriculture sector and seed development will help in promoting smart farming and smart farm production,” he said.
Engineer Asim Ayaz, policy manager at Engineering Development Board (EDB), said that work was launched on the formulation of ‘agriculture implements manufacturing policy’ with standardisation of technical requirements of 78 agriculture implements.
The key recommendations for the policy include removing duties and taxes on the import of plants and machinery, establishing testing centres in the country, imparting skills to workers and providing financing to the local manufacturers.
Asma Akbar, an official of the NARC, told WealthPK that quality control and regulatory body should be established to assure the quality of locally manufactured agricultural tools.
She said that Pakistan could generate billions of dollars through agriculture export but a favourable working environment and supportive regulatory framework were needed for the purpose. “Traditional management practices are used for agricultural yield, making it less productive,” she added.
She said that investment in modern technologies was imperative. She added that the use of technology is constantly increasing, gaining acceptance and becoming a necessity for all kinds of industries to compete in the global market as it can boost output, lower costs and save time.
The NARC official said awareness workshops and training courses should be arranged for the industry owners and proprietors to improve their managerial and marketing skills for exporting their products.