Corporate farming in Pakistan opposed

The News | Thursday, January 07, 2010

By our correspondent

PESHAWAR: Voicing aversion to corporate agriculture farming, speakers at a seminar on Wednesday underlined the need for taking effective steps to counter its adverse effects.

The event was organised by ActionAid Pakistan in collaboration with the Citizen Rights and Sustainable Development. The participants said the concept of corporate farming was evolved after the advent of the World Trade Organisation in 1995.

They said the land identified in the Punjab spanned 31,111 acres in Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur, Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan while vast tracts of 6.6 million acres were located in Cholistan.

The speakers said investors from China, Germany, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other Middle Eastern countries had shown interest in undertaking corporate farming projects in Pakistan.

The speakers said because of the corporate farming, small farmers would be affected the most as they would not be able to compete with highly sophisticated and mechanised multinational companies.

The speakers feared that the lust of the corporate companies for insatiable profit could prove lethal for the poor peasants of the country. They said once the foreign investors thronged the market, the small investors would be pushed out of the field. They said corporate farming was against the national interest and had nothing to do with food security or improvement of the agriculture sector.

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