Poverty mitigation possible through Agri development: World Bank

Poverty mitigation possible through Agri development: World Bank

ISLAMABAD: According to the World Bank, agricultural development can alleviate poverty, enhance shared prosperity and provide for a projected 9.7 billion people by 2050.

Farm output constitutes 18.5% of Pakistan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, the small farmers which make up 38.5% of the national labour force are neglected and marginalised.

In an interview to a media outlet, President Pakistan Kissan Ittehad (PKI) Khalid Mehmood Khokhar said, “Small scale farmers constitute 60% of Pakistan’s rural population while their economic survival depends completely on agriculture. Following Pakistan’s law of inheritance, large landholdings have been getting divided into smaller portions while passed on to next generations. Thereby, decreasing per farmer land holding ratio as well as the average farm size in Pakistan which now stands at 5.6 acres, being less than half of what it was back in 1972. This cutting up of land into smaller pieces has also resulted in reducing the economic incentive to an already marginalised farmer.”

He suggested digital microfinancing and inclusion of the latest communication technologies to provide a channel to the small farmers across the country for their technical assistance on adopting modern agriculture techniques.

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