on farm sector that are anticipated as the CAF policy is implemented in the country. Information and 1 Mr. Tahir Hasnain is Director at the Economic Justice and Development Organization (EJAD) based in Islamabad. 2 Sustainable Agriculture Action Group, 2009. Corporate Farming or Land Grab: Implications of Corporate Farming on Small Farmers and Food Security Situation in Pakistan. Press statement of Sustainable Agriculture Action Group (SAAG) appeared in the Daily Dawn on 12 th September 2009.
data has been collected through both primary and secondary sources. Using a set questionnaire, a number of stakeholders from relevant ministries, government institutions and farming communities were contacted to know their point of view on the current CAF policy. In this backdrop, the policy recommendations, given at the end, are drawn in the light of data, both primary and secondary, gathered during the course of this study. 2. Executive Summary Agriculture sector in Pakistan is very important for the country’s food security, livelihoods and culture. Majority population, more than 70 percent, is involved in agriculture. It also plays an important role in the country’s national economy. The agriculture sector is the largest contributor to the foreign exchange earnings by contributing about 70 percent of total foreign exchange earnings. At the same time, it supplies basic raw material to the agro-based industry. Agriculture sector currently lacks capital and CAF seems need of the hour since the efforts are to be made to attract private investments to attract capital in the agriculture sector. The proponents of corporate farming anticipate that it will make the system efficient and an end to stagnation in the agriculture sector. It also coincides with export oriented agricultural policy and the trade liberalization under the auspices of World Trade Organization (WTO). Despite these attractive theories, following concerns and arguments however suggest that CAF and land leasing policy is not feasible in the country: we are already a water stressed country and corporate farming will put more pressure on water resources, depriving small farmers of irrigation water; our precious farming communities, especially the majority small farmers, will suffer in the wake of competition with corporate giants; unemployment and rural poverty is already on increase and the CAF is likely to create more rural unemployment; CAF means growing monoculture farming of cash crops and it may further deteriorate food security situation of the country; initiatives under CAF may cause massive eviction of indigenous communities living around; CAF would pose adverse environmental impacts and will add to climate change; CAF policy is thus likely to pose more problems in Pakistan that the good. In the light of below mentioned suggestions, the Government should revisit the CAF and its land leasing policy in the best interest of people and sovereignty of Pakistan: CAF ordinance should be brought in the parliament for thorough discussion.
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