Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research has banned import tomatoes from India that is appreciated by Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) as a step in right direction.

LCCI President Abdul Basit hailed Sikandar Hayat Bosan’s step as it would inspire local farmer to grow more and saving vast foreign exchange. He said that we have sufficient resources to feed the population so local grower should be helped all-out and issues should be resolved on priority.

Abdul Basit advised government to add to cropped area to avoid any crisis-like situation. They said that we cannot afford recent status of cropped areas and per hectare yield for the reason that we are running short of per capita food availability. He said despite Pakistan’s almost 43% labor force depending on agriculture still yield is 3 times less than China and Egypt. This low yield is the cause of poverty in rural areas, in addition, to importing agriculture harvests to feed population.

LCCI President said that China produces 2 times more cotton and wheat per hectare and Egypt produces 3 times more rice and sugarcane per hectare than Pakistan is a revelation.

“Factors like introduction of hybrid seeds and mechanized farming, high efficient irrigation systems, for instance, drip irrigation and drop in wastage of crop by introduction of private storage facilities and cold storage facilities”, said LCCI President.

Abdul Basit said that 21st century is of Biotechnology and Pakistan can appear as Biotechnology leader but to achieve the goal private sector, scientists, researchers, and government would have together. He said that Pakistan’s agri sector is losing due to scarce use of biotechnology as the magic progress of agriculture sector is merely due to Genetically Modified crops. Agriculture will be the single largest and dominant driving force for growth besides the main source of livelihood for 66 % of population. But it has always confronted 2 major problems like per acre productions are lower, secondly, 40% production is wasted as post-harvest losses due to unsatisfactory use of biotechnology.

Abdul Basit said that the day the sleeping technology giant Pakistan gets up it would be another China. Regrettably Pakistan lack framework for transfer of technology. He grieved that 400 research institutions are there but performance is not up to the mark”, LCCI office-bearers concluded.