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Pakistan is agriculture based economy.

ISLAMABAD, October 29, 2009 (Frontier Star): Agriculture sector should be prioritized to boost the economy of Pakistan", said Sardar Aseff Ahmad Ali, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission. He was co-chairing with Ms.Hina Rabbani Khar, Minister of State for Finance & Economic Affairs Division, the third Steering Committee meeting of National Trade Corridor Strategy Study (NTCSS) on Thursday. The Steering Committee is constituted to oversee the implementation of the NTCSS a priority initiative of the incumbent government targeted towards improvement in procedures, services, and infrastructure to enhance the trade and reduce the cost of doing business. The NTCSS will assist the government define, plan, prepare and implement programme for infrastructure development consistent with government's Medium Term Strategic Framework. The Steering Committee is supposed to select quick result oriented projects. Keeping in view the financial constraints, security situation, and comparative advantage Deputy Chairman Planning Commission suggested non-conventional ways of enhancing the welfare of people by focusing on certain strategic areas where major gains in GDP growth and higher employment levels might be achieved in a short time. Pakistan is, agriculture based economy. Since agriculture represents 20% of country's GDP & is responsible for as much as 43% of the employment in the country. Deputy Chairman further emphasized the need of improving the infrastructure to facilitate the farmers. There is a mammoth potential in agriculture sector especially in horticulture. He stressed on mango, citrus and vegetable farming, along with the use of new technologies and balance use of fertilizers & pesticides to increase the quality yield. The use of high tech green houses, radiation centres, will help to increase the value addition, which ultimately will lead to capture of new markets. This will also help in reducing the spoilage of the crop. Floriculture is an important field of horticulture sector and has enormous potential in producing the high quality products like tulips, having international demand also. High quality local expertise available in Pakistan that can be utilized to expand the domestic market, which will help in employment generation, said the Deputy Chairman. Ms Hina Rabbani Khar, MoS EAD stressed the need of value addition in Textile which should include apparel. Secretary Agriculture opined to include major crops like wheat and rice, especially value addition in rice through proper polishing, grading, & packaging. Secretary M/O Investment ask for the work able plan for agribusiness that can be marketed to attract FDIs. The Steering Committee developed a consensus that the growing pharma has gigantic potential so further research is required to tap the hidden potential of this emerging sector. Secretary MNFA, Secretary MoI, Additional Secretary Commerce, and high officials of all relevant ministries, divisions, and private sector attended the meeting.

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Publication:The Frontier Star (Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan)
Date:Oct 29, 2009
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