Agriculture’s Role in National Development Emphasized at Launch of 7th Agricultural Census

HYDERABAD    -    Experts from various agricultural, research, provincial and federal institutions highlighted the critical role agriculture can play in national development.  They stressed the need to transition from traditional agricultural practices, strengthen research databases and enhance the role of modern technology and institutions in addressing climatic hazards and natural disasters. The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) launched the 7th Agricultural Census in Pakistan with an awareness seminar at Sindh Agriculture University (SAU) Tandojam.  The event, organized by PBS, aimed to underline the importance and procedures of the upcoming census.

According to the University spokesperson, Advisor to the Chief Minister of Sindh for Livestock and Fisheries Syed Najmi Alam underscored the pivotal role of the Agricultural Census in facilitating future economic planning. He emphasized the indispensable nature of data for research, noting that the world operates on research. Najmi Alam advocated for an increased budget for higher education to support these essential activities.

Vice Chancellor of SAU Dr. Fateh Marri highlighted that the last livestock census was conducted in 2006 and the agricultural census in 2010 separately. This time, however, the census will comprehensively include agriculture, agricultural machinery and livestock jointly.

Dr Mari expressed confidence that the completion of this agricultural census by PBS would significantly benefit agricultural research and economic planning. He lamented the lack of complete authentic data in provincial statistical institutions and stressed the necessity for the country to rely on long-term policies and prepare comprehensive development modules.

The Member (SS/RM) of PBS  Muhammad Sarwar Gondal highlighted the importance of data accessibility in the technological era and advocated for streamlined data availability recognized by international institutions like the IMF.

Gondal emphasized the significant assistance PBS’s data provided during the 2022 floods in Sindh and envisioned the potential for issuing forecast alerts regarding floods or other disasters based on regional data with a successful implementation of a technology-based database.

During the program Member Census and Surveys Ayazuddin and Deputy Director General of PBS, Rabia Awan disclosed that field operations are slated from August to October 2024, with the enumeration of large holdings scheduled for August 2024. PBS aims to release the report on the 7th Agricultural Census in September 2025, following the completion of data analysis.

The workshop was attended by DG Livestock Dr. Hizbullah Bhutto, Dr. Aijaz Ali Khooharo, Suleman G. Abro, Zahida Detho, Muhammad Ismail Kumbhar and senior officers from provincial and district government entities.

Representatives from various provincial departments, including Agriculture Extension, Agriculture Research, Livestock, Crop Reporting Service, Agricultural Engineering, Bureau of Statistics, Board of Revenue and Education, as well as progressive farmers, university faculty members and a large number of students were also present.

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