Chief Minister, Mohsin Naqvi’s recent statements surrounding the need and importance of agri-research in our country hold great validity. The agricultural sector is the backbone of Pakistan’s economy, but various factors such as low crop yields, a broken supply chain, slow adoption of information technology, limited access to capital, and irrigation problems have caused stagnation. These challenges have had detrimental effects on our economy, food security, and rural livelihoods.
To revitalise the agricultural sector and overcome these challenges, investing in research and development is crucial. We need to boost productivity by improving farming techniques, crop varieties, and agronomic practices. Encouragingly, efforts have already been made in this direction. For instance, the recent “Fertiliser Right” project announced by the US aimed to train Pakistani farmers in effective fertiliser usage to enhance yields. Additionally, the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) has engaged with international agricultural scientists and policymakers to access new information and technologies.
However, while progress is being made, it is happening at a slower pace than what is needed to unleash the full potential of our agricultural sector. We must expedite our efforts to incorporate the latest techniques and best practices. A case in point is the export of cotton seeds to Uzbekistan, which has led to a significant increase in cotton production. The difference lies in Uzbekistan’s adoption of advanced techniques that enhance productivity. We must follow their lead and embrace the newest and most advanced methods to achieve similar results.
Investing in agri-research not only tackles the current challenges but also holds immense potential for economic development. By focusing on research and development, we can develop improved crop varieties, enhance water and nutrient management techniques, optimise pest control strategies, and implement precision agriculture methods. These advancements will lead to higher yields, better quality produce, and increased export potential, ultimately driving economic growth and improving livelihoods.
The CM’s emphasis on promoting agri-research is commendable, but swift action is needed. We must prioritize incorporating the latest techniques and best practices to enhance productivity and achieve economic development goals. By leveraging the expertise of agricultural universities, researchers, and farmers, we can unlock the true potential of our agricultural sector and secure a prosperous future for Pakistan.