ISLAMABAD: The development of agri-economy in southern Balochistan and value-addition to crops from the province were discussed at a consultative session on Tuesday.
Chairing the meeting, Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhr Imam emphasised on the need to revamp the agro-economy scientifically and stressed for a long-term push in this regard.
Potential districts for agro-economy development included Washuq, Kharan, Panjgur, Kech, Lasbela, Awaran, Khuzdar and Gwadar.
Secretary National Food Security and Research, Omar Hamid Khan informed the meeting that the National Development Council (NDC) — constituted under the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan –will take special initiatives for southern Balochistan.
The prime minister wanted urgent and tangible steps taken on priority basis to bring the underdeveloped parts of Pakistan to a higher level of development, Khan said. The PM has sought clear cut projects defined with financial implications for the province, he added.
The FAO notes that the land in Balochistan is very fertile and many fruits including apples, plums, grapes, cherry, dates and melons are grown here.
The meeting discussed that in Washuq, Khuzdar and Lasbella, low delta crops with high market value can be cultivated with small interventions by the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council.
In Awaran, Lasbella and Khuzdar, long-term availability of non-GM cotton seed and organic inputs for farmers are specialty of the area.
There is horizontal development of cotton in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan through capacity building, technology transfer and ginning facilitation under PM Emergency Programme is covered by the Public Sector Development Programme.
Published in Dawn, September 2nd, 2020