Agriculture is a major contributor to the provincial economy, accounting for over 21 percent of its GDP, providing employment for 47 percent of its work force, and a main source of livelihood and sustenance for the poor. National food security hinges upon agriculture. About 80% of the country’s foreign exchange originates from agriculture, and Punjab contributes over 60% in this. It is a main source of raw material for several industries, especially textile, edible oil, rice husking, etc.
Investment in agriculture in Punjab ensures high return, generates employment in rural areas thus curtails rural-urban migration, and can be the most effective way to reduce rural poverty. The Punjab government has a mission to develop a science-based, vibrant and internationally linked agriculture sector that can not only meet the food security challenges but also compete in domestic as well as in international markets. We envision public-private partnership in achieving this mission.
Enhancing Productivity for the Improved Livelihood in Rural Areas
- Increase the flow of scientific innovations;
- Bridge the yield gap between progressive and resource poor farmers;
- Promote diversification to high-value crops and vertical integration to increase small farmers’ income; and
- Provide resources, skills and information to enable small farmers to be linked with consumers, especially of high-value markets.
Improving Government’s Ability to Meet Food Security Challenges
- Reduce expenditure on holding big wheat reserves in the public sector;
- Promote grain storage in the private sector;
- Develop future agricultural commodity markets and promote pledge loaning;
- Make well-informed decision based on accurate information such as production, stock, import and export prices, etc. and scientific prediction.
Reduce Regional Disparity
- Special emphasis on building institutions, providing resources, and training small farmers in the neglected region of Southern Punjab;
- Encourage production of high-value crops to high potential marginal lands in Thal and Cholistan;
Sustaining Agricultural Resources
- Agricultural production will be transformed from input-oriented to knowledge-based system. For this purpose, efficient energy, water, pesticide, fertilizer, and labor utilization and management systems will be developed and promoted;
- Unnecessary conversion of agricultural lands into urban settlement will be discouraged.
Revamping of Punjab Agricultural Research Board (PARB)
- Identify stakeholders’ issue through their involvement;
- Fund output-oriented research on competitive basis;
- Ensure commercialization of research outputs through stakeholders’ involvement;
- Enhance national and international collaboration;
- Import of new technologies for local adaptation.
Establishments of Seed Units
- Provision of basic and pre-basic seed to the private sector
- Sell established varieties/hybrids to the private sector on competitive basis;
Promote IPR based Technology Environment
- Provide government guarantee to Monsanto for the technology fee for the use of its latest cotton technologies;
- Willingness of the Government to sign similar deals with other tested technology providers.
Promoting food quality, safety and traceability through Star Farm concept
- Training of six master trainer;
- Capacity building of extension agents, traders, processors, and farmers;
- Establishing the trading platforms through Star Farm Franchising;
- Developing forward and backward linkages of the trading platforms;
Establishment of Punjab Agricultural Marketing Company
- Identifying key marketing investment areas;
- Developing business models for identified areas; and
- Invite and encourage private investment in identified areas
- Fruits and Vegetable Development Project
- Provision of farm mechanization service on cost sharing basis
Governance Improvement Measures
Enactment of Seed Act
- Provide private sector a legal space in the seed business
- Provide enabling environment for the private sector to operate;
- Replace the inefficient seed certification mechanism to truth-in-labeling testing mechanism, which is more private-sector friendly.
Enactment of Pesticide Act
- To improve pesticide quality, registration and monitoring of pesticide trade, manufacturing, formulation, sale, and use is being taken up by the Punjab Government;
- Standardization of pesticide machinery.
Intellectual Property Right (IPR) Act
- Ensure the ownership right to the inventor;
- Every inventor can sell the innovation with appropriate technology fee.
- Allow private sector to establish various kinds of agriculture markets;
- Limit the role of the Market Committee in the premises of the public sector markets;
- Democratize the Market Committees that manage the public sector markets;
- Develop efficient market models and encourage private-public partnership in establishing these markets.