Government must ensure procurement of whole surplus wheat from farmers: Wattoo

LAHORE: Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, President PPP Central Punjab has demanded that the government must ensure the procurement of whole surplus wheat from the farmers adding it must not be contended with the purchase of merely four millions tones as announced earlier. The procurement should be without political considerations of the ruling Party, he added.

He anticipated in the face of bumper wheat crop this year that the farmers would offer much more than the four million tones of wheat for procurement adding the procurement target of the government would inevitably push the poor growers at the mercy of the middle man to their acute disadvantage.

He pointed out that growers of rice, sugarcane, maze, wheat and potatoes have been suffering huge losses due to the anti-farmers policies of this government during the last two years. They cannot withstand the burden of the government policies any more and would be constraint to take extreme step if pushed against the wall, he warned.

He observed that the responsible governments provided subsidies to the farmers to protect their economic interest. He regretted that this government had faulted in this count because it backed out of its promises to compensate the rice growers through subsidies.

He said that agriculture sector was the backbone of the country’s economy and its contribution to the GDP stood around 25% adding two thirds population of the country’s livelihood depended on this sector, directly or indirectly.

He pointed out that the textile sector of the country contributed 60% of the total exports for which agriculture sector provided the raw material at affordable rates enabling it to earn competitive edge in the international market.

He maintained that Pakistan’s dream of emerging as a prosperous country would never materialize till the farmers of this country were not well off in the real sense of the word.