By: Ramzan Chandio
KARACHI - The agricultural experts, civil society activists, peasants and politicians expressed serious reservations over the Corporate Agriculture Farming (CAF) policy and condemned the PPP-led coalition government which had given nod to lease out six million acres land of country to Gulf-based multinationals.
They further said that the CAF policy was approved in 2007 to allow the foreign investors to get thousand of acres of land on lease in country.
The experts expressed these views at a consultative workshop on ‘land grabbing and its impact on food, agriculture and small farmers’ organised by Shah Sachal Sami Welfare Association in collaboration with Actonaid Pakistan.
The farmers especially women from various parts of Sindh attended the programme. Meanwhile, after consultative workshop, the farmers also took out a rally against Corporate Agriculture Farming policy.
Shoib Aziz Policy Officer Food Rights of Actionaid Pakistan speaking at workshop said Pakistan is an agrarian country and 67 percent population are directly or indirectly linked to agriculture. Agriculture accounts for one-fourth of GDP and employed 44 percent of population.
However, despite an agrarian country, Pakistan has been declared net food importing country by the World Trade Organisation, he said and recalled that during partition, Pakistan was only food secure country and being part of united Punjab it used to provide food to whole united Hindustan. But due to subsequent flawed in agriculture polices such as green revaluation made the agriculture and food security at the brink of disaster, he maintained.
He pointed out that despite serious concern of farmers’ community and civil society, previous government of Musharraf approved Corporate Agriculture Farming (CAF) policy, while present government push the policy step ahead and announced to offer six million acre land to resourceful countries and Multinational Companies (MNCs).The announcement of present government has raised many questions, while the farmers’ community and other stakeholders showed serious reservations about the issue.