On Monday, former Vice President of the FPCCI, Atif Ikram Sheikh, lauded the measures taken in the budget to develop the agriculture sector. “The agriculture sector has been continuously falling for a decade, necessitating imports worth billions of dollars that can be saved if this sector is promoted,” he said. Atif Ikram Sheikh, who has also served as President of ICCI and Chairman of PVMA, said in a statement issued here today that Pakistan’s agricultural sector has long been the backbone of its economy, providing livelihoods for millions of people and contributing significantly to GDP but in recent years it has faced many serious problems.
He added that devastating floods, unexpected weather patterns, erratic rainfall, prolonged droughts, high fertiliser prices, substandard seeds, and fake pesticides had damaged this sector.
He said that extreme climatic events hurt productivity, threatening food security and exacerbating rural poverty; therefore, developing effective strategies to enhance the agriculture sector’s resilience is imperative.
Pakistan’s agriculture is predominantly rain-fed, making it highly vulnerable to fluctuations in rainfall patterns, as the country has witnessed a disturbing increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. Unpredictable rainfall has disrupted cropping cycles, reduced yields, and left farmers grappling with economic losses.
The increasing frequency and intensity of hailstorms in recent months have emerged as a significant threat to this critical sector, which requires strategies to mitigate their effects.
The business leader said that collaborations between government bodies, insurance providers, and agricultural institutions could facilitate the development of comprehensive insurance schemes, which is necessary for improvement in this sector.
Encouraging farmers to obtain crop insurance that covers hailstorm damage is crucial, as it can provide financial assistance to farmers, helping them recover from the losses.
By supporting farmers and implementing effective mitigation strategies, the nation can safeguard its agricultural economy, ensure food security, and maintain its position as a leading exporter of high-quality products.