Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that agriculture is the backbone of the economy of Punjab, saying that the agriculture sector plays a significant role in the progress of country. He said the target of increasing exports of agriculture products from Punjab has been fixed at $2 billion till 2014. He said in order to achieve that target, modern training is being imparted to the farmers of Punjab.
The CM said this while addressing a high-level meeting, which was held to review exports of agriculture products, here on Wednesday. Hans Peter of Star Farm Company, Tino Zeiske, Regional Head of MCC, David Bonar, MD MCC, Member Provincial Assembly Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan, Chairman Planning and Development, secretaries of Finance, Livestock and Agriculture departments as well as authorities concerned attended the meeting.
Shahbaz Sharif said that precious foreign exchange can be earned by establishing agriculture on modern lines in Pakistan. He said, unfortunately, the agriculture sector has not been given sufficient attention in the past. He said Pakistan has the biggest irrigation network in the world, and is the fourth biggest country in terms of milk production, but, despite that, Pakistan’s role in international agriculture economy is extremely small. He said Star Farm Company is an internationally-renowned institution for preserving crops and exporting them to the international market. He said, with the collaboration between Punjab government and Star Farm, the agriculture products of the province are being introduced in the international market for the first time. He said that farm-to-market system is being further augmented, along with ensuring supply of agriculture crops. The Chief Minister said that agriculture products’ exhibitions would be held in foreign countries to boost exports and in this connection, Punjab agriculture products’ exhibition was held in Germany, during the previous year. The Chief Minister hoped that agriculture products’ exports would be further enhanced by getting the facility of access to the European Union market. He said greater employment opportunities would be made available to the people after boosting the exports of the agriculture produce. He directed evolving of such a mechanism as will ensure sustainability of continuous increase in the production of agriculture crops.
Hans Peter of Star Farm Company gave a detailed briefing to the Chief Minister about star farming.