Home Life Style Food Sindh government ignores sugarcane woes, organizes seminar for farm owners.

Sindh government ignores sugarcane woes, organizes seminar for farm owners.

Sindh

News Analysis |

A seminar is being organized by the Sindh Enterprise Development Fund, as the seventh installment of the Livestock Dairy Fisheries Agriculture Exhibition and Seminar 2018 (LDFA 2018) in Larkana on February 10th and 11th.

The primary focus of the fair in Larkana is to highlight the agriculture economy of Larkana and nearby districts, which produce approximately two million tons of paddy, the Supply and Prices Department secretary Sajid Jamal Abro told the press.

Speaking to the media at the Sindh Board of Investment (SBI), the secretary informed that out of the total rice production in the province, 90% was being exported to Africa, the Middle East and Far East. Mr. Abro also said that while rice producing countries like China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Thailand were far ahead of Pakistan in terms of farm practices, crop yields and production technology, Pakistan made up for it in the quality of the crop.

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet, in its meeting held in December last year, approved a minimum benefit of Rs. 15 billion for the millers through procurement of 300,000 tons of surplus sugar stock.

The exhibition will focus on clusters of rice, poultry, dairy, livestock and fish farming. The program also includes exhibiting the warehouse receipt-based financing model for agricultural commodities, which is being kick-started by Sindh. It will revolutionize agricultural financing in line with the mechanism adopted in the developed world, he said.

The area is renowned for its guava, with a distinctive taste and aroma, but owing to inefficient and old farm practices, most of the produce is lost. SBI and Sindh Enterprise Development Fund Chairperson Naheed Memon admitted the regrettable fact that the province lost 70% of guava production in Larkana. Through the exhibition, she said, the Sindh government would create awareness among peasants to protect the produce and to educate them about various new farm techniques and subsequently team them how to protect their produce.

Read more : Sindh government ignores sugarcane woes, organizes seminar for farm owners.

Regardless, stakeholders of the agriculture sector are not happy with the exhibition, quoting that it has not come up to their expectations. “It is a political move to win voters in the upcoming election,” remarked an experienced rice grower in Larkana who was one of the founding members of the Sindh Abadgar Board, speaking to a local publication.

The policy adopted by the current government seems to have been more favourable for the millers in comparison to the farmers. It has doled out billions of rupees in export subsidy to the millers. 

In 2016, Pakistan’s agriculture sector had a 19.5% share in total size of the economy while its productivity ranged between 29% and 52%, far lower than the world’s best averages for major commodities, according to the Pakistan Business Council.

A major power player in Pakistan’s agriculture sector, sugarcane, predominantly found in Punjab and Sindh, has been under scrutiny in the past few months. The government has failed to impose a sugarcane grower-friendly decision of the previous Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) administration about printing sugarcane purchase quantity and price, apparently under the pressure from influential sugar millers, which include various federal and provincial lawmakers, Global Village Space reported.

Read more : Sugarcane farmers lose battle against powerful mill owners

In the current spectrum, poor sugarcane growers have been left at the mercy of the millers, many of whom are paying far lower than the set support price for sugarcane. The PPP government, in its 2008-13 tenure, had agreed on printing the quantity and price of sugarcane on the purchase receipt in a bid to avoid exploitation of the farmers.

The devised mechanism was also accepted by different ministries and organizations including the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Federal Board of Revenue, State Bank of Pakistan, cane commissioners of Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh, and the Kisan Board.

The primary focus of the fair in Larkana is to highlight the agriculture economy of Larkana and nearby districts, which produce approximately two million tons of paddy, the Supply and Prices Department secretary Sajid Jamal Abro told the press.

However, according to sources, the sugar millers are now paying for less than the actual weight of sugarcane and are also offering Rs. 140 per 40 kg of sugarcane, which was much lower than the support price of Rs. 180 set by the provincial governments.

The policy adopted by the current government seems to have been more favourable for the millers in comparison to the farmers. It has doled out billions of rupees in export subsidy to the millers. The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet, in its meeting held in December last year, approved a minimum benefit of Rs. 15 billion for the millers through procurement of 300,000 tons of surplus sugar stock.

Read more : Sugarcane protests cause massive disruption in fruit exports

The total blow to the national treasure, both for the federal and provincial governments, would be at least Rs. 20.4 billion including the allocations for subsidy on sugar exports. This was in addition to the benefit of Rs. 30 billion that the millers would get by claiming Rs. 20-per-kg subsidy on the export of 1.5 million tons.


2 COMMENTS

  1. These bastard corrupt officials don’t give a shit about the people except election time, and we get sucked in again and again, shame on us not them.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here