Karachi ( March 31, 2015) Different stakeholders including representatives of farmers organizations, civil society organizations, agriculture traders, exporters have expressed their serious concern on the lack of implementation on the Sindh Wholesale Agricultural Markets (Development and Regularization) Act, 2010” by converting the existing market committees into Market Companies and facilitating the private sector to establish market companies in agriculture sector.
This concern was expressed in a provincial consultative workshop titled “Enabling environment for private sector participation in the value chain of vegetable and fruits in Sindh” organized in a local hotel on Tuesday by Participatory Development Initiatives (PDI) jointly with Oxfam Novib. The participants were of the view that Sindh government had taken a good initiative of replacing the colonial Agricultural Produce Markets Act, 1939 with the new law Sindh Wholesale Agricultural Markets (Development and Regularization) Act, 2010, under which the market committees were to be converted into market companies and private sector was allowed to establish its own private agriculture markets. However, despite the passage of more than four years the new law is not be implemented and the market committees are still being run under the old law. This is violation of the laws as according to the contents of the new law, it was to replace to old one within the timeframe of three years” the participants added.
Talking on this occasion Director Agriculture Marketing Sindh Mujtaba Hussain assured the participants of the workshop that the ground work including the rules have been prepared and soon the new legal framework would be implemented. Director Agriculture Extension Riaz Dayo while speaking on this occasion said that the private sector can only be attracted when the farmers are encouraged to form their cooperative societies and the women farmers should be given 50 percent representation in those societies. He said that civil society should come forward and develop linkages with the field staff of Agriculture Extension for improving the value chain of the agriculture sector in Sindh. Those who spoke on this occasion included Sikander Brohi Executive Director PDI, Mohammed Tariq Khan Deputy Director Department of Plan Protection, Kabool Mohammed Khatian Vice President Sindh Chamber of Agriculture, Barrister Azhar A. Shah General Secretary Sindh Chamber of Agriculture, Hussain Bux Malah, Masroor A. Shahwani Institutional Specialist SIDA, Abdul Sattar Vistro Executive Director Nisar Foundation, Zameer Soomro TDAP and others.
The participants of the workshop demanded that cold processing chains should be established in agriculture zones of Sindh and farmers should be imparted training in food safety as well as value addition in agriculture produce. They also expressed concern over the slow process of technology transfer among the farmers in agriculture sector and demanded that immediate actions should be taken for the technology transfer. The expressed concern on the sale of adulterated and low quality seeds, fertilizers and pesticides and demanded that the monitoring mechanisms should be strengthened to check the quality of the seeds, fertilizers and pesticides.