Call to encourage agricultural sector: PEW

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The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday called upon the authorities to promote agriculture and livestock sectors to life rural communities out of poverty.
The agricultural sector is considered the backbone of the economy which is largest employment provider while eighty percent of exports are linked to it but it is not getting due attention, it said.
Modern methods are being ignored while inputs are being increased to boost production which is increasing the cost of doing business while continued neglect has reduced share of agriculture on the GDP, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.
He said that it is next to impossible to ensure national development while keeping agricultural development on the back burner which is the mainstay of the economy.

Agriculture is no more the largest sector of the economy but it continues to provide jobs to the majority of the labour, therefore, it merits attention, he added.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that agricultural growth in the last eight years has remained at the average of 2.1 percent while it has dipped to 1.6 percent while the reduced production is contributing to poverty.
He noted that policies of the government continue to push farmers to prefer low-cost crops over high-value crops as different packages announced for the planters have failed to achieve desired results.
The main beneficiaries of these packages were rural elite as the common man was again deprived of the benefits of such moves.
He said that Pakistan is a notable country in milk production; the number of cattle head is increasing but the productivity of milk, beef and mutton is stagnant since long.
Livestock is very important for poverty reduction, human health and food security but the majority of people engaged in this business are away from the formal economy.

In: Economy WatchAuthor: AAMIR JAVED