March 13, 2020: National Dialogue on Agriculture concluded with a declaration and a new resolve to uplift Pakistan's agro-economy. The top brass of the National Assembly vows to play a highly assertive role on mainstreaming Agriculture in the national policy planning and budgeting.
A flagship initiative of the Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan, the National Dialogue was attended by the President of Pakistan as Chief Guest, Members of the Cabinet, opposition members, international financial institutions and Agriculture specific international organizations, ambassadors, farmers unions and technical experts.
Speaking on the occasion the President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi stressed the need to build new synergies, Mobilization of investment in Agriculture Research and enabling environment for the private sector to drive the Agriculture transformation agenda.
The Speaker termed the dialogue as the beginning of a nationally integrated effort to facilitate policy shifts in the Agriculture sector. The dialogue addressed 8 themes which included Reorienting Pakistan Agriculture Research, extension and technology transfer Frameworks, farmers Access to credit, input for higher yields, pathways got enhancing Pakistan Agriculture export, women and youth in Agriculture, integrated Natural Resource Management, high-value Agricultural products and value addition for a resilient Agriculture sector.
The Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shah Mehmood Qureshi was the Chief Guest of the conclusion of the dialogue. He remarked that given fragmented landholdings deteriorated by market distortions and poor farmers' lack access to finance and markets precluded them from achieving the economy of scale in Agriculture.
The declaration included mobilizing investment in research, national efforts to reclaim the soil health and promote sustainable management of Natural Resources. It was also decided to mainstream youth and gender priorities in Agriculture policy planning.
The dialogue urged the need to revamp Pakistan's Agriculture credit system so as to address the hurdles that prevent small farmers from accessing timely and cheap credit. On matters of enhancing Agricultural Export, it was decided to control the degeneration of seed and improve compliance with the international standards. The dialogue was convened with the technical support of IFAD and FAO.
Speaking on the occasion, the representatives of both the organizations affirmed to continue this dialogue and ensure that the findings of dialogue translate into concrete outcomes.