Economics & Business

Growers under serious threat of neo-colonialism

Agriculture, the biggest sector of the economy, is under serious threat as gradual sale and lease of large patches of lands to foreigners is been carried out in a very quick and secretive manner, the Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) said. The idea of corporate farming has evoked more fears than hopes. Many think that corporate farming will have negative impact on rural livelihood and will transform Pakistan into a more unequal country.

Despite opposition, some important persons seem determined to allow foreigners to own an unlimited amount of land in any part of Pakistan. The development is bound to hurt environment, water resources, forests, wildlife and above all the farming community. Millions of farmers will become jobless while thousands of acres of fertile land will become barren because the corporate farms would be given preference in provision of canal water, seed, pesticides, fertilizers and other inputs, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

Political unrest may follow as rights of farmers are being neglected and nation is not being taken into confidence. Alternative arrangement for poor peasants seems not to be a consideration at all; rather a force would be raised to help foreigners carry out their activities in a smooth manner.

Industrial privatization was carried out to retire the debt. In the process we lost many profitable unite and the country was pushed to brink of bankruptcy. Now fertile lands are being privatized in the name of technological advancement and attracting foreign investment.

Foreigners have only one think in mind while investing outside their country, to gain maximum in minimum of time and leave. “Wealthy countries have controlled global trade, now they are eying over one trillion dollar agricultural output of underdeveloped countries,” said Dr. Murtaza Mughal.

Rich countries have already bought large farms in many countries like Congo, Sudan, Zambia, Myanmar, Laos, Uganda, Cambodia, Mozambique, Madagascar, Ethiopia, Angola, Nigeria, Tanzania, Brazil and Central Asia. They are expanding attracting unrest and riots. It seems that now it is our turn.

Corporate farming will push some cultivators to commit suicide while others may prefer crimes. A good number may develop extremist tendencies that will have a heavy political price. -PEW

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Haroon Akram Gill

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  • Meheroom e Tamasha Ko Phir Deeday e Beena Dey
    Dekha Hai Jo Kuch Mainne Auron Ko Bhi Dikhla Dey…

    Mian Sahab, I Was really really looking forwding for someone to come up ahead and address this issue or atleast put it on the air, in the newspapers, in the magazines and created an awareness to whats happening around. I am Glad finally somebody took the chance and spoke up. This Neo Colonial system will really not help the already worsening up Law and Order situation. Foreign investors will definitely go to all extents to secure and saviour their own interests but this alternately means that the minimal approach that the small grower or farmer of the nation has today will end too.

    I just don’t get it why in the world can’t we trust our own capabilities? The potential that we as a nation possess is far enough to get us no only on the track but to get us really on top. All we lack is the right leadership I believe. Agricultural reforms is a word I have been hearing ever since I got admitted in to school. Nothing substancial has happened ever since in this regard. Mohtarman Benazir Bhutto Shaheed, was really a strong believer and supporter of it. Her priorities sure included the subject at the top but Alas!! We Lost her. Today’s coalition government of PPPP and its allies seems to have alot of other issues to deal. Lots of dollars is what they are relying on and instead of generating dollars via our own resources they are travelling to the world to help us. Nobody is going to. We just have nothing substancial on our back to show them and make them understand what we have done. The sins from our past will keep hunting us forever as long as we don’t get bold enough to accept our mistake. Our leaders will really have to work out of the shoe to get the nation back on track. Foreign visits especially at a time when the country is at war, when the nation is going through the roughest time of its history and the head of the state, the prime power head of the country Mr. President is out of the country for more than 23 days. This just won’t Help. Somebody really has to take the responsibility and lead from the front.
    May God Bless Pakistan.

  • Next bubble is carbon offsetting, bio-tech and agriculture. So foreign companies securing farmlands is expected.