Businessmen call for improving grain storage capacity

  • March 05, 2010
Insufficient grain storage capacity is currently a big problem due to which farmers have to suffer a lot and government should take urgent measures to improve storage capacity in the country for wheat, rice and other crops

This was said by Zahid Maqbool, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry while presiding over a meeting of ICCI Sub-Committee on Food and Agriculture. 

He said government should ensure timely procurement of wheat from the farmers as they don’t have sufficient wheat storage facility and any delay in procurement process could throw farmers in deep troubles due to fall in price of wheat.

He said Pakistan has become quite vulnerable to acute water shortage problem due to long dry spell and less rains creating new threats to agricultural productivity and government should take urgent remedial measures to ensure food security of the country.

He said according to a conservative estimate, Pakistan’s population would increase to 250 million by 2050 with an annual population growth of 1.6 per cent a year. It would obviously increase demand for food items and government should adopt a proactive approach to meet the rising food needs of country’s burgeoning population.

The committee members said that government should address on priority all issues related to agriculture productivity including high cost of inputs and outputs, storage facilities, supply side of foods items, management of water for different crops and marketing of agro-products etc. to ensure food security of the country.

They said that due to persistently long drought and water shortage, almost 36 million acres of fertile land has reportedly turned barren and if this trend continued more of Pakistan’s farmland will become unproductive aggravating domestic food security situation.
Zahid Maqbool said that despite an agrarian country, Pakistan is spending big amounts on import wheat, sugar, edible oil and other value added food items which increases trade deficit.

He said government should construct more small dams and improve irrigation system, ensure consistent energy supply & all inputs to farmers at affordable prices and facilitate them in getting access to urban markets. He said government should enhance food security by making farming a profitable business venture.