STAFF REPORT IBD: AsPakistan plans to liberalise its trade withIndia, there is a strong possibility that the inefficiencies in the agriculture sector will expose this sector to international competition causing financial strains for many farmers, agriculture experts say.

“In my opinion, agriculture will remain under stress during 2012,” said Iqrar Ahmed Khan, Vice Chancellor at the University of Agriculture in Faisalabad adding that one of the newest issues will be Pakistans decision to grant the MFN status to India.

Pakistanmay be one of the largest producers of major agricultural commodities in the world, but the lack of investment and poor infrastructure renders much of the countrys farm produce uncompetitive on the global market, the experts say.

“The Indian agriculture has an edge in technology and a huge domestic market for their produce.Indiahas genetically modified crops fully integrated into the system and we are still struggling with BT cotton alone,” Iqrar said.

Given the lack of a functioning commodity future market inPakistan, most farmers remain exposed to the fluctuations in spot prices without any ability to hedge their risks. The experts suggest the government to come out with a mature approach to deal with this issue.


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