Agriculture can bridge Pakistan’s trade deficit, concludes PAC agri investment conference

Sarfraz Ali 12:11 AM | 17 Mar, 2023
Agriculture can bridge Pakistan’s trade deficit, concludes PAC agri investment conference

KARACHI - Agriculture is now center stage as the sector that can help salvage the economy by wiping out Pakistan’s trade deficit, said former Governor State Bank Syed Salim Raza.

 Leading corporates, business houses, and financial institutions congregated at Pakistan Agricultural Coalition’s inaugural Agri-Connections 2023 conference and exhibition which was attended by over 275 leaders of the industry, finance, government, donors, academia/international experts, global investors and the farming community.

Seed emerged as a key theme raised by many speakers. The legal and regulatory framework for seed must be improved, said National Foods CEO Abrar Hasan.

Meskay & Femtee CEO Shahid Tawawalla spoke against relying on subsidies as a policy instrument since they can only bring temporary relief. Subsidies are important but must be focused on improving the productivity of farmers rather than just for inputs. Speakers were of the view that important needs such as crop insurance and technology upgrades should be supported by the government.

Pakistan Agricultural Coalition CEO Arif Nadeem said that while finance is about taking risks and managing risk, in Pakistan’s agriculture sector, the farmer is the only one who is shouldering most of the risk. Bank of Punjab President Mr Zafar Masud said that the absence of development finance institutions is a critical problem that requires resolution at the systemic level.

Water reliability is the highest priority of the farmer. Water should be metered and priced to at least recover the operational expenditures of the irrigation system.

The panel on maize was in consensus that GMO technology must be introduced to rapidly increase yields. Mr Khalil Sattar stated that many food products in the USA and Europe are based on GMO crops and there are no problems with their consumption.

Dr Ishrat Husain, the former advisor to Prime Minister, stated that government should get out of the way, particularly away from defining prices and over-regulation.  

Pakistan Agricultural Coalition Strategy Advisor Kazim Saeed said that to realize the potential of agriculture, it is important to listen to the farmer—both the individual farmer and the corporate farmer.

Eleven leading industrial groups from banking, insurance, textile, and agribusiness sponsored this event organized by Pakistan Agricultural Coalition. PAC is a non-profit sponsored by leading sector stakeholders, focused on creating private sector-led, globally competitive and sustainable agriculture models, to catalyse Pakistan’s agriculture sector.

Sarfraz Ali
Sarfraz Ali

The author is working as Editor Digital Media for Daily Pakistan and can be reached @ItsSarfrazAli.


USD to PKR: Pakistani rupee remains stable against dollar as IMF talks underway

ISLAMABAD – Pakistani rupee remained stable against the US dollar as the market is looking for direction amid Pakistan’s ongoing negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Amid the economic uncertainty, the local currency remained unchanged against the greenback, moving up 0.01 percent during the opening hours of trading. Before noon, PKR was hovering at 285.40 in the interbank.

In contrast to the inter-bank, the dollar continued its upward trajectory in the open market and is reportedly available at Rs315, as the gap between the official rate and open market rate is Rs30 per dollar.

As the money market is waiting for a positive development from the economic front, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission Chief to Pakistan said they continued engagement with Islamabad focusing on the restoration of foreign exchange proper market functioning, with special on the upcoming budget.

Today's gold rates in Pakistan – May 30 2023

KARACHI - The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs 232,700 on Tuesday.The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs199,510.   

Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs163,624 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 190,880.

Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Karachi PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Islamabad PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Peshawar PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Quetta PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Sialkot PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Attock PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Gujranwala PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Jehlum PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Multan PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Bahawalpur PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Gujrat PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Nawabshah PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Chakwal PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Hyderabad PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Nowshehra PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Sargodha PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Faisalabad PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500
Mirpur PKR 232,700 PKR 2,500


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