Call to announce sustainable agriculture policy in Sindh

HYDERABAD: A roundtable dialogue as the follow-up of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit for the adoption of 2030 agenda was organized by Society for Environmental Actions, Reconstruction & Humanitarian response (SEARCH) and Development Society (NDS) at a local hotel in Hyderabad.

The goal-2 of SD provides a clear guideline to form sustainable agriculture policy in Sindh. SAFWCO President Suleman G Abro said the SDG-2 provides an opportunity to initiate a discourse on SDG-2 in Sindh, because despite rich in fertile land and productive resources, Sindh’s 72 % population is food insecure.

Prof Ismail Kumbhar of Sindh Agriculture University said that the recent reports, CSOs and experts are of the view that their federal and provincial planners and governments only see natural resources including seeds, land, water, and other productive resources as capital for businessmen and investors, not as basic needs and livelihoods for citizens or their indispensability to the economy and food security.

Sindh Hari Porhyat Council President Punhal Sario said the man behind the plough had always been ignored and the government had been facilitating the handing over of their productive resources to the foreign corporate world. He said as per 18th Amendment of the Constitution of the Pakistan, agriculture and food security are subjects of the province, but there is no any comprehensive sustainable agriculture policy ins Sindh yet.

SEARCH Pakistan Executive Director Waheed Jamali said that Sindh government had a lead role in any efforts to improve the lives of the peasants, fisher folks, small farmers, pastoralists, growers and farm-labours, but the government cannot solve problems alone. There must be coordinated action that pulls together a global and national partnership of government institutions, grass root organizations, CSOs, academia, experts, and individuals in order to unite their energy and ideas into a common effort.

The participants demanded of Sindh government to announce Sustainable Agriculture Policy of Sindh on urgent basis and asked federal government to revisit Seed (Amendment) Act 2015 in order to make it pro-peasants and small farmers. Deedar Ali Bhutto Director Agriculture Department (Extension), Dr. Islamuddin Majeedano Agronomist from Agriculture Research, Mumtaz Mangi from UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Mustafa Baloch Regional Head of SPO, Jai Parkash President Press Club Hyderabad, and Samad Soomro of Labour Department also spoke on the occasion.