Climate Change affecting agri-sector, says FPCCI 

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The agriculture sector in the country is suffering from unpredictability in growth, and its performance remains subdued due to climate change, said Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI)’s Regional Standing Committee on Horticulture Exports Chairman Ahmad Jawad on Saturday.

Ahmad Jawad, in a statement here, stressed the need to launch an initiative to digitise agriculture and provide necessary information to farmers to increase production.

Reflecting upon the country’s economic survey report, he said insufficient progress in technological innovation, limited progressive farming techniques, marketing and trade restrictions, low prices of crops and traditional processing methods were major reasons for low production.

Around 40 per cent of the total agricultural production was wasted in post-harvest due to an insufficient utilisation of biotechnology, he added.

In such scenario, he said, the use of biotechnology seemed to be the most fitting solution to revive the sector.

“It is heartening to note that a mobile company operating in Pakistan has taken the initiative in this regard but the services of this initiative are limited to certain regions, which needs to be extended to the whole country,” he said.

He urged the federal and provincial governments to join hands and work on productivity increase, adapting to climate change, poverty alleviation, input subsidies, agriculture research and extension, improving seed provision, agriculture produce markets, genetically modified crops, and meeting globalisation challenges.

Ahmad Jawad said the agriculture sector was being badly affected due to climate change and disturbance of seasons and decreasing water level in the earth. The situation could get worse if no appropriate measures were taken, he warned.

“The whole world is being affected due to climate change and Pakistan could become the single most affected country in future if pre-emptive measures are not taken.”

“It is a huge problem and projects could not be approved without environmental assessment,” added the FPCCI office bearer.

He said climate change was a global issue. Some 190 countries had gathered in Paris in 2015 and agreed to protect the earth and limit greenhouse gas emission.

The quarters concerned should focus on an Effective Agriculture Policy in the wake of recent climatic developments and to help achieve GDP growth, he added.