Lahore: Pakistan is ranked among the countries which spend least on agriculture research, depriving its farmers of higher productivity benefits besides increases in production cost, said Punjab Agriculture Research Board (PARB) Chief Executive Dr Mubarik Ali on Saturday.
“Instead of investing on research and innovation, Pakistan’s agriculture sector is focused on increased use of inputs, including fertilizers, pesticides and water, which led to stagnation in productivity,” he said. Dr Ali was speaking at a consultative meeting with members of the Agricultural Journalists’ Association (AJA) here on Saturday.
Our agriculture production is not picking up and we have to import billions of rupees worth of pulses, fruit and vegetables every year, he said. He underlined that Pakistan had the lowest spending on agriculture research among almost all the world’s key nations and it was too on declining trend.
He pointed out that the country was hardly investing 0.25 to 0.29 per cent of its agriculture gross domestic product (GDP) on research and development (R&D), whereas neighbour country India was investing 0.4 per cent, Bangladesh 0.35 per cent, China 0.6 per cent and Japan 2.5 per cent of respective agriculture GDP. On the other hand, developed world was investing 2-3 per cent of its agriculture GDP on R&D, he added.
University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha said that after the establishment of PARB research work in education institutions was now being better coordinated and expedited.
Farmers Associates Pakistan (FAP) President Dr Tariq Bucha stressed the need of increasing interaction between scientists and farmers.
Kissan Board Pakistan (KBP) Vice President Safraz Khan said small farmers, being biggest shareholders in the farming and dairy sector should be given priority while initiating research work. He said various aspects of agriculture research should be properly discussed with representatives of farmer organisation.