Pakistan’s economic crisis is worsening despite being an agricultural and wheat self-sufficient country.
Although various agricultural products such as wheat, cotton, legumes, sugar, edible oil, spices, dried fruits, milk, tea and others are imported from abroad, therefore, for the development of the country, the quality of agricultural production must be brought in line with global requirements.
Addressing the distribution and training ceremony of legume seeds and agricultural inputs to local farmers in collaboration with Sindh Agricultural University (SAU) and the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Dr Fateh Marri, vice chancellor said that developed countries are constantly engaged in research to tackle food security, the problem of climate change, increase yields per acre and save people from starvation.
“Although we are an agricultural country, we are forced to import agricultural and food products from abroad,” he said,
Adding that the country’s trade deficit was 31.1 billion in fiscal year 2021 and imports were 56.505 billion, if we improve our agricultural production and produce to world standards and do more research in this regard, we can reduce the import bill of many products including wheat, cotton, sugar, tomatoes, milk, pulses, spices, tea.
Dr Marri said food imports in the last fiscal year were 6.13 billion, including 1.9 billion of edible oil and 2.05 billion of other food items. He said that according to data released by Pakistan’s Department of Statistics, the import of pulses alone has increased by 1.23 million tonnes. He suggested that governments should invest in it and encourage research for agricultural development.
Professor Dr Qamaruddin Chachar, dean of the faculty of crop production, said Sindh Agricultural University will provide technical assistance to farmers in growing pulses.
Dr Aijaz Ahmed Soomro, Sindh focal person for the pulse project in Pakistan and chairman of the agronomy department, said pulses are in demand at home and abroad, including gram, pea and lentil, in the past there were different crops of legumes, but sugar cane, bananas, wheat and other crops have now taken its place, due to which the demand for legumes in the country does is not satisfied, the project would help farmers to grow pulses on their farms.
Dr Mahmooda Buriro and others also spoke on this occasion. Dr Aijaz Ali Khooharo, Dr Neaimatullah Leghari, Dr Jan Muhammad Marri, Prof. Dr Muhammad Ismail Kumbhar, Dr Aijaz Soomro, Dr Qamaruddin Jogi, Dr Shaukat Ibrahim Abro, Director of Finance Anil Kumar, Registrar Ghulam Mohiyuddin Qureshi, as well as a large number of university professors, farmers and students. participated.
Finally, the Vice-Chancellor distributed seeds, medicines and other essential items to farmers while farmers from different regions, including Khesana Mori, also received training on growing and caring for pulses.