Government focuses curbing food inflation days, Khusro Bakhtyar

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Islamabad:   (Parliament Times)     Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar, Federal Minister for NFSR
said that Government has focused to curb food inflation for which a robust early warning
system would be developed. He further said that Pakistan being an agrarian economy is
largely a food secure country but challenge of food inflation emerges very recurrently
due to gaps in demand and supply management system.
Mr. Illango Patchamuthu, Country Director (World Bank) and Mr. John Roome,
Regional Director (World Bank) called on the Federal Minister for NFS&R on Thursday
in former’s office to brief about the interest of the bank for working with the Government
of Pakistan in various areas of agriculture. Officials of the Ministry were also present
during the meeting.
Mr. Illango said that the Bank would like to work in close collaboration with the
Government on the commonalities like climate smart agriculture, high value crops and
water management.
The Minister said that we are looking to vertically promote growth of cotton with
high quality seed and pest management. He apprised that we have launched a holistic
program of Rs.300 billion with five year gestation period. This program addresses key
areas of agriculture including fisheries, livestock, water management and productivity
enhancement of major crops. We need to mobilize our farmers for their participation in
the initiatives of the government for sustainable development of the sector.
Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar underlined the need for harmonizing the crop
estimates worked out by Provincial Crop Reporting Services and estimates through
satellite imagery & remote sensing to come up with more precise data for devising
effective and timely policies. The Minister also expressed that the Government and the
bank may together work out their short term and long term agenda for agricultural
cooperation. Short term collaboration may include designing of a model of Early
Warning System (EWS) for management of food inflation. This EWS would save the
interests of both farmers and consumers. Long term collaboration may be worked out in
other common areas of interest like water management, fisheries and climate smart
agriculture. The Minister shared that the Government is also committed to rationalize
agricultural subsidies to ensure diffusion of their benefit to the farming community.