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21% of GDP, 43% of employment, 45% of exports: Govt urged to give agri sector relief

21% of GDP, 43% of employment, 45% of exports: Govt urged to give agri sector relief

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Muzammil Hussain Sabri has urged the government to announce a relief package for the agriculture sector with the objective of reducing the input cost and improving productivity.

The ICCI president, in a statement, said that the agriculture sector accounted for 21% of the country’s gross domestic product, 43% of employment and 45% of total exports. Yet, the sector encountered multiple problems including a high input cost, low per-acre yield and outdated cultivation methods.

He pointed out that old methods of irrigation were still in vogue and were causing 50-60% wastage of water. “Despite possessing enough water resources, Pakistan is losing around 13 million cusecs annually from its rivers into the sea due to lack of sufficient reservoirs and dams.”

The traditional methods of cultivation, he said, were keeping per-acre productivity at low levels and the average yield was just a quarter of what regional countries like Nepal, India and Bangladesh got.

He said the government should formulate a comprehensive plan for establishing ample water storage facilities and focus on introducing the drip irrigation system to provide adequate quantity of water for plantations and a better yield.