“After the passage of 18th Constitutional Amendment, Sindh and Balochistan are running without agriculture policies due to lethargic attitude of bureaucracy. This negligence and slackness of authorities have caused food insecurity and low crop production. If immediate agriculture policies in both the provinces are not introduced and implemented, there will be more food insecurity and socio-economic slowdown,” said Parveen Naz, Program Officer at ActionAid Pakistan.
“It is irony that Sindh government is reluctant to adopt agriculture policy despite a set of recommendations and suggestions have been provided to it, while Balochistan has drafted the policy but it has not yet passed, which is harming farmers. It is unfortunate that farmers even could not grow crops with their favourite seeds. They have been compelled to grow crops with hybrid seeds. The farmers’ privilege is a enormous issue because the seed industry wants to control agriculture sector and its growing market,” she said.
Parveen said that Sindh and Balochistan needed effective agriculture policies so as to provide relief to farmers, growers and labour for their livelihood. Spurious fertilisers, pesticides and uncertified seeds are being used in Sindh and Balochistan, which have badly affected the agricultural sector. Sindh and Balochistan needs sustainable agricultural policies in order to enhance livelihood for farmers and alleviate poverty.
She said agriculture in the country accounted for 20.9 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2014-15 and was a source of livelihood of 43.5 percent of rural population. Increased agricultural production and high crops yield was essential for food security which make the farming systems less vulnerable to climate change. To make agriculture more effective and beneficial in supporting sustainable higher economic growth trajectory and reducing poverty in Pakistan, sustainable agriculture policies needs to be adopted through Balochistan and Sindh Assemblies coupled with favourable socio political climate, adequate governance, farmers say, experts views, and sound macroeconomic fundamentals, she underlined.