PTI’s will increase farmer’s profitability and boost growth rate; we will optimise existing subsidy programmes, reduce input costs, transform agriculture produce markets, improve access to finance, champion mechanisation and incentivise value-addition for exports.
Agriculture is undoubtedly the backbone of Pakistan’s economy as 45% of the labour force depends on this sector for livelihood. However, growth rates have been poor owing to bad policy decisions and poor implementation. Farm input costs are rising, our agriculture produce markets are monopolised, access to finance is dismal, bad practices are depleting our natural endowment, climate change is adversely affecting our ecosystem, value-addition of crops is weak and agriculture related exports are far below potential. This gross neglect of the agriculture sector, especially small farmers, will hamper Pakistan’s GDP growth rate if left unattended and an aggressive turnaround is now pertinent.
We will make inputs cheaper for farming to be profitable; we cannot encourage a commodity price increase to achieve profitability as it will add to inflation, but a one-time price adjustment may be required. However, we will decrease costs by:
- Optimising existing and introducing new subsidy programmes
- Increasing access to credit with easy terms of repayment
- Sharing costs of investments required to improve productivity
We will expand agriculture produce markets and enforce an efficient and transparent market clearing mechanism to get fair market prices for farmers.
We will expand existing and create new warehouses along with crop grading system in key locations across Pakistan under public-private partnerships.
We will deregulate the seed market apart from a few commercially important seeds.
We will reduce import duty on farm machinery to increase productivity.
We will incentivise farmers to conserve water, adopt regenerative agriculture, effectively control weeds and be more market driven with their crop mix.
We will expand existing and create new markets for value addition, e.g. organic farming, SME level processing to provide cheaper inputs for local manufacturers (reduce import burden), encourage high-value exports, etc.
We will encourage private banks to roll-out digital loans for quick access with easier terms of repayment and launch warehouse receipt financing.
We will impose a research emergency and spearhead scientific cooperation initiatives with other countries to strengthen agricultural research.
We will transform and expand the Agri-extension programme to provide effective on-farm technical support.
PTI will boost the livestock sector and make Pakistan self-sufficient in milk and milk-based products, expand meat production for domestic consumption and exports; we will ensure that small livestock farmers are the primary beneficiaries.
Livestock productivity is low in Pakistan, despite of which we would almost always meet our domestic demand for consumption. Furthermore, our exports have consistently been poor as we do not meet international quality and hygiene standards. But with income levels rising and a growing middle class, our livestock supply is failing to meet domestic demand, let alone missing out on the opportunity to increase exports. Majority livestock holdings are with small farmers, which makes achieving economies of scale to increase productivity even more difficult; hence to boost the livestock sector the state has to intervene with productivity enhancing initiatives.
We will promote research and champion advancements in technology such as genetic improvements to increase livestock productivity.
We will identify and demarcate specific livestock zones with high potential.
We will champion sustainable commercial production of quality feed to tackle malnutrition and also increase farmer profitability.
We will increase vaccination supply through imports and local production, and expand network for administering vaccines.
We will improve standards in slaughterhouses, incentivise use of efficient machinery and champion improvements in supply chain.
We will improve and enforce milk and meat standards to regulate quality.
We will create incentives to encourage investment in processing for exports.
We will secure off-take agreements from overseas buyers to guarantee market for additional produce.
We will incentivise investors and producers to organise small farmers to build community biogas plants, shared cooling and milk collection infrastructure.
We will develop disease management plan to enhance capability and capacity to roll-out and sustain longer-term interventions.
PTI will build dams and solve our water crisis with immediate steps to conserve and improve management of water. We will expedite development of requisite infrastructure and ensure implementation of Pakistan’s national water policy and our water plan for each province.
Pakistan is predicted to reach absolute water scarcity by 2025. This impending crisis is a result of inadequate water conservation efforts and poor management. Pakistan’s economy is already one of the most water-intensive in the world and the situation will only worsen with population growth, urbanisation and high water losses in agriculture; let alone the threat from climate change and unresolved regional water disputes. Solving Pakistan’s water crisis will undoubtedly be our top priority.
We will strengthen our Ministry of Water Resources, other water sector institutions and build a platform to encourage stakeholder participation.
We will improve and ensure implementation of our master water plan for each province and the national water policy.
We will launch an aggressive public awareness campaign on the “Need for water conservation” and against “The mismanagement of water”.
We will create opportunities for public-private partnerships to expedite implementation of our National Water Policy.
We will pursue and resolve issues pertaining to our water treaty at all forums.
We will expedite construction of Diamer-Bhasha dam and will speed up feasibility studies for other dams.
We will build small dams across Pakistan to conserve water and fulfil local demand.
We will champion all initiatives to improve water management in urban and rural areas, especially ICT enabled interventions.
We will reduce share of non-revenue generating water, crackdown on over-abstraction and commit to recharging our aquifer.
We will drastically cut water losses in Agriculture by promoting best practices, smart interventions and improved monitoring of farms.
We will aggressively expand our rainwater catchment capacity in urban and rural areas.
We will invest to improve research, water information management systems, disaster relief management and support adaptation to climate change.
PTI will uplift the fisheries industry with infrastructure investments, incentivising adoption of best practices and effective monitoring to increase our fish stock to a sustainable level.
Pakistan’s marine fish stock has reached an alarmingly low level due to intensive exploitation, bad practices and poor government controls along our coastline. Furthermore, previous governments’ neglect has kept the sector far from reaching its export potential. Our fisheries industry provides livelihood to a million people and it is now imperative to reverse depletion and build our fish stock to a sustainable level for the industry’s survival.
We will increase protected areas from 1% to 10% of our coastline.
We will incentivise fish farming and lower taxes on equipment for sustainable business development.
We will use wasteland for fish farming to promote inland aquaculture; in particular to farm “Tilapia”.
We will champion cold chain development from sea to shore, from farm to storage; to decrease wastage and improve quality for end consumer.
We will ban fishing certain species during specific periods in a year, especially in spawning season.
We will develop and enforce standards on fishing net size, mesh size, and size of fish captured, in particular to avoid harvesting juvenile fish and to rehabilitate endangered marine species.
We will ban issuance of new fishing licenses till our marine fish stock has reached a sustainable level.
We will stop further licensing of fishmeal factories and ban fishmeal export till compliance to raw material quality control standards are adopted.