OKARA -Experts expressed grave concerns over the low investment in agricultural sector, terming it a serious hindrance in the way of to alleviating hunger and poverty from the county.

“It is a serious impediment in achieving the agricultural growth rate of 4 percent per annum which is directly linked to the country’s development.”

They stated while addressing a consultative meeting of farmers held here to seek their suggestions on Punjab Agricultural Policy (PAC) the other day.

Chairing the meeting, PAC Convener and UAF VC Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that quality education and research are the prerequisites for the development of any country, adding strong academia and industry linkages pave the way for addressing various issues like food security, poverty alleviation and the problems of health sector. “Agriculture is the backbone of Pakistan’s economy and contributes about 21 percent of the country’s GDP,” he said, expressing grave concerns over the alarming decrease of investment in agricultural sector and the adverse consequences of rural-to-urban migration.

A farmers’ representative Zahid Irshad said as the water has gone scarce in the country due to India’s violation of Sind-Tas agreement, there is a need to introduce drip and sprinkler irrigation in the country.

Another representative Hamid Mahi said that 75 percent of Pakistan’s exports are related to agriculture. He called upon the authorities to establish water reservoirs to fight water scarcity.

Dr Jahanzeb Cheema, Haji Shaukat and Noshaba Shehzad also spoke on the occasion.