ISLAMABAD-Federal Tax Ombudsman Coordinator Meher Kashif Younis on Sunday said with corporate farming, Pakistan would not only stimulate economic activities but also revolutionise its agriculture sector unlocking potential opportunities in food-related various industries.
Speaking at a seminar on “Corporate Farming Promise Food Security” held under the aegis of Gold Ring Economic Forum, he said adopting corporate farming on state lands will not only facilitate the implementation of modern irrigation systems but also contribute to land development in Pakistan. He said, “It entails reclaiming barren lands including deserts and hilly areas and transforming them into arable lands suitable for farming and agriculture.” “Corporate farming requires simultaneously addressing the needs of small-scale farmers giving them access to modern processes, quality inputs, tools, and techniques for sustainable competition,” he emphasised.
He said, “For attracting foreign direct investment, the government must declare agriculture as an industry and implement a timely investment policy tailored to induce foreign investment which will pave the way for the country’s progress and prosperity.” Meher Kashif Younis said, “Agriculture development is one of the most powerful tools to end abject poverty, boost shared prosperity and feed a projected 9.7 billion people by 2050.” He said, “Growth in the agriculture sector is two to four times more effective in raising the income among the poorest compared to other sectors. However, he said the potential in this sector is not being fully exploited in Pakistan.”
He said, “Approximately seven million acres of identified land suitable for corporate agriculture across all provinces is available that needs the immediate attention of the stakeholders at the helm of affairs.” He said, “Pakistan is among the countries facing the potential threat of food insecurity as ranked 99 out of 121 countries in the world hunger index.” He said, “Food security remains a significant challenge and with escalating inflation of food-related products, the affordability of essential commodities for common man may become difficult in coming years. Therefore, the timely move towards corporate farming is the right step by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.”
He said, “This approach will not only make Pakistan self-sufficient in meeting its food-related requirements but also help in generating and sustaining substantial foreign exchange reserved for Pakistan.” “Corporate farming is a well-recognised practice adopted by several countries like China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and India where they invest in farms and acquire land from various countries for this purpose while some countries have ventured into innovative techniques like vertical farming,” he added.