STAFF REPORT HYDB: The Sindh Chamber of Agriculture (SCA) urged the provincial government to raise the agricultural development budget to Rs50 billion and give subsidies and incentives on equipment.

The growers body, which has met in the city recently to review the current budget, said the allocation for the agriculture sector of Rs4.40 billion is less than one percent of the total budget outlay of Rs686.179 billion despite that the sector is a source of income for 30 million people in Sindh.

SCAs leaders also demanded of the provincial government to provide farmers with 5,000 solar-powered tube-wells.

Leading growers Dr Naveed Qamar, Mir Imdad Ali, Nabi Bux Sathio, Mohammed Khan Sarejo and others attended the meeting. They said the allocation shows the ignorance of the government towards farmers problems, including increase in machinery prices, water shortage and low price of their products.

They expressed concerns over the governments fixing Rs35 billion for the restoration of the irrigation system in Sindh, saying the government has already spent billions of rupees for improving canal system, but the situation is the same due to corruption and mishandling.

They said the agriculture economy is being destroyed due to the wrong decisions, saying the province should be given its proper share of water to avert the loss of crops, as acute water shortage has panicked the people who earn livelihood from agriculture.

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