By: Asim Nawaz
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif projected a significant influx of billions of dollars in the agriculture sector of Pakistan over the next four to five years. Speaking at a seminar on agriculture and food security in Islamabad, the Prime Minister highlighted the government’s focus on fully leveraging the potential of agriculture through the recently launched Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC).
During the seminar, attended by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir as the guest of honour, PM Shehbaz emphasized the transformative impact of the Green Pakistan Initiative, positioning it as the country’s second green revolution. Under this program, the government aims to attract an average investment of 30 to 50 billion dollars in Pakistan within the next three to four years. The Prime Minister stressed the importance of enhancing productivity and converting barren land into fertile ground to bolster national revenues.
PM Shehbaz further disclosed that the envoys of several Gulf countries had expressed interest in investing in Pakistan during a recent meeting. He highlighted the necessity of investment and a comprehensive vision to ensure sustained progress, acknowledging the collaborative efforts that prevented a default and upcoming discussions with the IMF.
Expressing concern over unproductive research centers and loss-making state-owned enterprises (SOEs), which drain approximately Rs600 billion from the country’s limited resources, the Prime Minister stressed the need for Pakistan to tap into its abundant resources and seasons to become a prosperous nation. He emphasized reducing imports, such as the $4.5 billion spent on palm oil annually, and revitalizing sectors where Pakistan had previously excelled, such as cotton and wheat production.
PM Shehbaz expressed confidence that the agricultural sector would be revived, attracting investors without the need for additional loans. The Army Chief also pledged full support from the military for initiatives under the SIFC, including the Green Pakistan Initiative.
The seminar witnessed the participation of federal ministers, chief ministers of Punjab and Sindh provinces, chief secretaries, agricultural experts, and farmers from across the country. Notably, foreign dignitaries, potential investors, and experts from various countries, including the UK, Italy, Spain, China, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, were also present.
The event marked the launch of the Land Information Management System – Centre of Excellence (LIMS-COE) and highlighted the Green Pakistan initiative, which aims to enhance food security, increase exports, reduce agricultural imports, and contribute to the national economy.
Agricultural experts and farmers lauded the government’s initiatives and the Pakistan Army’s focus on modernizing the sector through technology, public-private collaboration, and poverty alleviation efforts benefiting local farmers. The seminar was deemed a successful step towards bringing positive change to the agriculture and livestock sectors, with attendees appreciating the military’s contributions to boosting the national economy through this critical sector.