Agriculture

Recognize that agriculture is back bone of Pakistan’s economy · Improve water management
· Educate farmers
· Upgrade infrastructure and facilities in regard to:
– Storage
– Packaging
– Transport
· Review of land ownership and distribution to achieve equity and efficiency
· Improve and develop agriculture universities, research facilities and institutes
· Direct a gradual shift away from petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides
· Encourage a return to organic and traditional methods
Agriculture is the backbone of Pakistan’s economy. These are the central elements of Mustaqbil’s agricultural policy:
· Direct a gradual shift from farming based on petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides to organic and traditional methods
· Improve water management by reducing losses in transmission
· Educate farmers both in terms of general literacy and the specific technical requirements of farming.
· Upgrade infrastructure and facilities related to storage, packaging and transport of agricultural produce.
· A comprehensive review of land ownership and distribution with a view to achieve both equity and efficiency.
· Bring about comprehensive improvement in the quality of all agricultural universities, colleges and institutes.

Modern fertilizers are mostly oil based and can only become more expensive as oil inevitably becomes scarce. The same applies to many insecticides and pesticides. A return to organic farming must be contemplated and carefully encouraged. .

This will not be easy. The seeds in use today have been developed for use with (now) expensive inputs. The varieties of wheat and rice and other staple crops that were cultivated before the advent of these inputs have all but disappeared. But they must be reintroduced. And not just for the sake of economics but also for the sake of the environment which has taken a huge beating from fertilizers and pesticides. Clearly this is again a knowledge based effort.

Farmers cannot do this on their own. They have to be guided and supported by leading edge research in these areas.

Much agricultural production is lost due to spoilage before it gets to market. Farmers must be provided better information about storage, packaging and transport. The materials and machinery for this must be made available. Farm to market roads and railway lines must be enhanced. ..