Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb has underscored the need for better coordination between international and national institutions working for sustainable development of agriculture sector. Addressing the national stakeholders’ dialogue on Sustainable Rice production in Islamabad on Tuesday, she said the government has taken initiatives for growth of the agriculture sector. She said though the subject has been devolved to the provinces but given its importance, the prime minister announced a countrywide Kissan package worth 341 billion rupees for the betterment of the farmers. The package, she said, envisaged many interventions including promotion of research, subsidizing necessary inputs such as seeds and fertilizers and preparing the farmers for climatic adaptabilities. The Minister said that targeted programs are also being initiated at the federal and provincial levels to address the issue of malnutrition. She said with 44 percent of children facing stunted growth, the issue of malnutrition is one of the biggest challenges for us. She said that being an agrarian economy, these statistics are not acceptable and steps are being taken to check the problem. The Minister said that the platforms of Radio Pakistan and Pakistan Television can also be used to create awareness amongst the stakeholders about the significance of sustainable production of crops such as rice. She emphasized that the research component should be aligned with the agriculture universities in order to effectively sort out the issues faced by the sector.
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