- Bumper wheat production is doable job
- Interest-free loan to farmers surely support economy and agri sector
Interview with Mr Nadeem Shah — Vice President, Sindh Abadgar Board
PAGE: Tell me something about yourself and your contribution for the betterment of the agriculture sector, please:
Nadeem Shah: I got involved in agriculture at the age of 17, way back in 1975 simultaneously continuing my education. I did my B. Sc. (honors), DBS and MBA. My social activities comprise being Joint Chief CPLC Hyderabad, Member PCCC, Member Provincial Seed Council, Member Sindh Seed Corporation, Member Academic Council Agriculture University Tando Jam, Vice President National Reformers’ Forum and Vice President Sindh Abadgar Board.
I am a President of Cancer Patients’ Welfare Society. I educate farmers every week without any hiatus and ensure monthly meetings to impart my knowledge to them for better production. I have arranged a number of exposure visits for farmers regarding different crops. I am very much into drip irrigation, biological control and organic farming.
I am interviewed regularly for print and electronic media regarding agricultural activities and I have 114,000 members on Abadgar board’s Facebook group. I have been looking after my farm for preceding 45 years and have made drastic changes in farming such as leaser leveling, tunnel farming, vertical farming and adopting latest technologies.
PAGE: What is your perspective about incentives offered by the government to the agriculture sector through Kamyab Kissan Scheme?
Nadeem Shah: Let me tell you rather candidly that barely a few farmers are aware of Kamyab Kissan Scheme in Sindh. I presume private banks are least interested in this. If information vis-à-vis this program is properly disseminated, it could serve the purpose.
PAGE: Your views on the prices and production of edible oil:
Nadeem Shah: Edible oil prices are skyrocketing and it has become extremely difficult to survive with such exorbitant prices particularly for the downtrodden. Production of edible oil is 100% doable if the federal as well as the provincial governments provide high yielding seeds followed by fair price to farmers. It would be a win-win situation and our country would get the benefit in terms of economic stability which has become sine qua non at this juncture.
PAGE: What is your perspective about the interest free loans offered to farmers?
Nadeem Shah: Let me know where the interest free loans are being offered. Being Vice President of the growers’ organization, I am not cognizant of it. The government must do it so that agriculture sector could beef up and the lives of the farming impoverished community could be improved. If interest-free loans are offered, it would be a dream come true and would be a monumental service to the agriculture sector which in essence is the barometer of the economy. If agriculture sector beefs up, the economy would beef up.
PAGE: What is your take on wheat production and import?
Nadeem Shah: Bumper wheat production is doable job. The input costs are too much and have undergone about 50% spike. Despite having bumper crop during last year, Pakistan imported 4 million tons of wheat at higher rates. Can anyone answer where the local wheat crop has vanished? By giving 10% subsidy to farmers (in comparison to subsidies on import) we can be in exporting club for wheat, edible oil, pulses, sugar etc.