The seminar was organised by Pakistan Kisan Ithad (PKI) in collaboration with ActionAid Pakistan, aimed to review the proposed new agriculture policy in the country here at local hotel on Friday. Agriculture experts, representatives of organisations working in agriculture sector and small growers from Buner, Swabi, Peshawar, Mardan, Mohmand Agency, Manshera, Abbottabad, and Bannu participated in the day-long seminar.
While commenting on the proposed new agriculture policy, the majority of participants appreciated the steps taken in the policy for development of Agriculture sector; and redressing of farmers’ issues. They suggested that government should take all possible measures for small growers, particularly women, and agriculture uplift in the country. The participants emphasised the co-ordinated efforts are important for addressing poor farmers issues.
The Agriculture experts said we need to focus on fertility of lands along with yielding of the production in order to improve living standard of poor farmers in the country. The participants said it is a good step to formulating new agriculture policy; and added further that the farmers would get land by this policy in the future. They also criticised government’s a few steps, and asked to take maximum steps for resolution of small growers’ issues on priority basis. The issues, they said, scarcity of water among others.
Majority of participants opposed the step for extending lands to foreign states for co-operating farming with them; and demanded immediate get back from them. The lands should be distributed among the poor farmers in the country, they added. The participants stressed that the unity is essential for policy advocacy. Small growers agreed to build a consensus and unity, aimed to put better suggestions and recommendations to policy makers to incorporate in the proposed new agriculture policy for maximum resolution of their issues and sustainability of agriculture sector.
ActionAid representative Nasir Aziz policy officer and programme office Area Office Perviaz Iqbal Ansari discussed with the participants that this policy should be pro-small farmers and it should be focussed on sustainable agriculture. On the PKI provincial co-ordinator Liaqat Yusufzai, Jamsher Khan, Waqas Ali Co-ordinator CRSD, Janisar Khan Syed Mubarik, Allah Dad and Azad Khan also spoke on the occasion.