29Agriculture and Food Security
Agriculture with a contribution of 21% to national GDP is the single
largest sector of the economy and provides employment to more than
half the country’s labour force. Agriculture and agro based products
account for 70% of total export earnings and the sector supplies many
of the industries with raw materials. In turn the sector consumes more
than 40% of industrial finished goods.
With a major expansion of water supply through tube wells for irrigation
in the 1970’s and 1980’s, the total cropped area has increased by one
third to 24 million hectare, yielding an average annual agricultural
growth rate of 5.4% in 1980’s and 4.4% in the 1990’s. This growth rate
slowed down to 3.2% in the decade of 2000 due to adverse terms
of trade but overall the agriculture sector remains an efficient user
of domestic resources both as a provider of additional employment
opportunities and as a producer of goods for consumption and for
exports. With efficient use of modern technologies there is considerable
scope for increasing agriculture productivity in the coming years.
To accelerate the pace of agriculture development and to reduce
poverty by diversifying the rural economy to expand non–farm
employment, PML(N) will undertake the following specific programmes
and measures for the integrated development of agriculture, livestock,
fisheries, horticulture and forestry:
Turn agriculture into a fully-viable economic industry by
changing the policy framework and terms of trade in favor of
Focus on small farmers as the real back-bone of the rural
economy and assure their access to knowledge, inputs and
Give high priority to development of the livestock sector and
self sufficiency in oilseeds, as a part of an overall program to
fisheries and horticulture crops like fruits, vegetables and dates
will be given special incentives.
Revitalize corporate agriculture to overcome the limitation of the
small land owners by setting up land development corporations
with majority equity of the poor and managed by professional
Reform the agriculture credit system to ensure that at least 50%
of the total is provided to small farmers and that land owners
are able to obtain credit on the basis of the market value of the
land rather than outdated produce index units. High priority to
women borrowers in micro credit programmes.
Convert Pakistan into a large net exporter of food and highvalue
crops to regional markets by modernizing post-harvest
storage and marketing systems. There is very large demand for
halal products in these markets.
Build consensus on the basis of the 1991 Water Accord to allow
new water projects to be undertaken and extension of irrigation
facilities to additional areas.
Increase irrigation intensity through fuller utilization of available
water resources by expanding the on-farm water management
programmes, and generating hydel electricity on a large scale
from local water reservoirs and small dams.
Launch major programme of aquifer recharge in arid and semiarid
areas of Cholistan, Thar and Baluchistan to ensure that water
flows from tube wells installed in these areas can be sustained.
Provide incentives for farmers to adopt social forestry on a
commercial scale rather than depend on restrictive laws for this
purpose particularly in border areas.
Undertake immediate updating of revenue and property
records using modern Information Technology. Based on the
information so generated ‘benamis’ can be eliminated, property
rights of female members protected, and better access to credit
Revamp all agriculture research organizations to ensure that
there is sustained increase in productivity to meet the demands
of a growing population and that the benefits of research
actually reach the farmers.
Intensify research efforts to reduce the energy intensity of the
agriculture sector to bring down the cost of production which
has gone up due to high petroleum prices.
Modernize agriculture education in general and curriculum of
agriculture universities in particular.
Under its land reform programme, PML(N) will reclaim and
irrigate additional land for allotment to landless, women
haris and tenants. It will also undertake a land consolidation
programme to create viable units for modern agriculture.
PML(N) will give high priority to ecologically sound development
policies to preserve and develop the country’s natural and forest
resources to counteract the impact of global warming and fight the
cancer of water-logging and salinity.
There is need for a coherent strategy across all our provinces to deal
with the climate change threat facing Pakistan. Natural disasters do
not stop at provincial boundaries and nor should their response be
disjointed. Past natural disaster remnants like floods and earthquake
affectees will be rehabilitated adequately. Prioritization of routes
destroyed in natural disasters will be undertaken. Model villages will
be built in all natural disaster zones to reduce discrimination.
Research across the world has shown that food security cannot be
ensured only by increasing the availability of food through higher
agricultural production. It also requires better access to food. In
other words, the objective of food security cannot be achieved
unless and until the issue of poverty is also addressed. In the past
5 years, the proportion of population living below the poverty line,
according to several independent research studies, increased from
34% in 2007 to 40% in 2012. A drastic reduction in poverty levels
has thus become the most important development challenge for
the next government.
PML(N) will seek Parliamentary approval for adding a new article to the
Constitution to make the ‘Right to Food’ a fundamental right of every
citizen within a reasonable time frame.
To implement the ‘Right to Food’ policy, the government will formulate,
in consultation with the provincial governments, a National Strategy
For Food Security to achieve an average agricultural growth of at least
4% per annum in the next decade, evolve an equitable system of food
procurement and distribution, improve the access of poor households
to food at affordable prices and evolve a transparent system of safety
nets for very poor households.
It is also clear from Pakistan’s own experience that marginal adjustments
in development policies will not address the issue of mass poverty. A
paradigm shift will be needed to evolve pro-poor growth strategies
that will change institutions and local power structures in favor of
the poor, by giving them greater access to productive assets such
as land and livestock and facilities for acquired education and skills.
Other important elements of such a pro-poor growth strategy will
be increasing non-farm employment in rural areas through small and
medium enterprises and greater stability in food prices.
PML(N) will launch a coherent social protection plan to protect the
poorer segments of society from the adverse effects of inflation and
national disasters. Main elements of such a programme will include
Ensure universal access to affordable food grains in all parts of
the country by legislating the “Right to Food” as a fundamental
Strengthen the procurement programme to ensure all farmers
receive the guaranteed support price for grains and improve
arrangements for storage and subsidized distribution to ensure
relative price stability throughout the year.
Introduce a transparent system of income support programme
for needy families with incomes below the prescribed limit with
a special focus on widows, orphans and the girl child. Adequate
monitoring mechanisms will be established to ensure that
resources under these income support programmes are not
misused. Education scholarships will be provided to orphans,
disabled and other needy students for acquiring skills and
higher education. Concept of social entrepreneurship will be
introduced to ensure that the vulnerable communities who
have been granted additional cash grant for supporting their
limited income – do not end being counterproductive. It is
reported that some of the cash assistance beneficiaries stop
making conscious effort for success in life after getting use of
receiving easy money of Income Support Programme at home.
Replace most untargeted subsidies with targeted subsidies and
establish dynamic mechanisms for targeting to ensure that the
system is transparent and verifiable.
Create public-private partnership to take full advantage of
the capacity already built by a large number of community
organizations to respond to emergencies and national
Undertake special labor-intensive employment programmes
especially in areas affected by insurgency and natural disasters
based on small infrastructure or rehabilitation projects which
are identified in consultation with the target communities.
In cooperation with the Provinces, the PML(N) Government will raise
the total spending on non-pension social protection from the current
level of 1% of GDP to at least 2% by 2018.
A New Framework for Social Change
Pakistan needs a new framework for social change to provide equal
opportunities and social justice to everyone, eliminate exploitation of
the poor, harness its human resource potential and restore the dignity
of the citizen.
PML(N)’s social agenda includes not only the vital sectors of Education
and Health but also other important dimensions like empowerment
of women and youth, speedy justice, and good governance at federal,
provincial and local levels in order to revive the economy and restore
the balance of power in favor of the people.
Such an integrated programme of social development can create and
broaden partnerships between different segments of society, reduce
injustice and intolerance society and helps to achieve the Millennium
Development Goals 2015.
With knowledge becoming the key driver of socio-economic
development in the 21st century, Education must become number
one national priority. This phenomenal change should occur not just in
policy statements but also in terms of financial allocations, institutional
reforms, effective implementation of policies and an effective external
monitoring and evaluation system. To respond to the challenges
of knowledge revolution and globalization, we need an education
system that promotes creativity, analytical thinking, team work and
strong ethical foundations.
Education is also the greatest single equalizer in a society and universal
education is one of the most important means of reducing mass
poverty. An educated, technologically advanced and progressive
society is the need and aspiration of the people of Pakistan.
More than half the country’s population is below 25 years. Educated
and properly trained youth can become the driving force of progress
and prosperity, but this demographic dividend can become a
demographic challenge if the youth are not provided opportunities
for education and employment. Education is therefore the key to this
huge reservoir of talent towards dynamism, knowledge-economy and
Pakistan has finally taken a historic step forward to make the ‘Right to
Education’ a fundamental right by adding a new Article 25-A to the
Constitution under the 18th Constitutional Amendment passed in
April 2010. Pakistan Muslim League (N) is determined to bring about
an educational revolution in the country by taking following steps:
National Education Emergency will be declared to eradicate
illiteracy on war footing basis
A national literacy movement will be launched in which
volunteers from all the segments of society will be motivated to
In consultation with the provinces, initiate legislation to provide
a road map for achieving 100% enrollment up to the middle
level and 80% universal literacy and strive to meet the target
of ‘Education For All (EFA)’ and ‘Millennium Development Goals
(MDGs)’ related to education within the given time frame.
A vision 2025 for Pakistan’s education system shall be formulated.
The vision aims at transforming Pakistani education system to be
among world’s best. This would be based on the aspirations of
the people, the ideology of Pakistan, and new learning methods
technologies – recognizing education as a right of every job
market needs, citizen providing equal and ample opportunity
to all its citizens to make themselves knowledgeable, skilful,
productive, creative, confident and committed to moral values.
A uniform system of education will be introduced step by step to
minimize the problems arising from the multiplicity of systems.
Drop out rate at primary level will be reduced by providing
missing facilities in schools and free text books, offering
incentives, especially for girls.
Facilities for teacher training will be expanded at a rapid pace
in collaboration with the Provincial Governments to improve
the quality of education and ensure a quality teacher in every
classroom. At present with only 170 teacher training institutions
(including 26 in the private sector) and total enrolment of
650,000, we are training less than 10% of all our teachers.
Teaching at all levels will be made an attractive profession.
Efforts will be made to bring in high caliber teachers by offering
better salary, improved service structure and other benefits.
Training and refresher courses will be conducted at all levels
and their promotion will be linked with their qualifications and
performance. The selection of teachers shall be purely on merit
through a transparent selection process.
There is a need for developing a national strategy for skill-based
uniform curriculum to meet the changing requirements of the
economy and also to provide harmony among provinces. The
Federal government will assist and coordinate efforts of the
provincial governments to improve and standardize curricula in
National Curriculum Council shall be established comprising of
eminent public and private sectors experts to review national
curriculum and bring it to international standards to promote
analytical thinking, creativity, team work, curiosity for learning,
ethics and values.
Increased resources will be allocated for education sector
ensuring proper and timely utilization of funds to reach the
UNESCO target of 4% of GDP by 2018. Fiscal incentives and
other support will be provided to encourage private investment
in secondary, vocational and higher education in the country. In
making, Federal transfers the principle of matching grants will
be adopted to ensure that Provincial Governments also earmark
adequate resources for education.
Maximum facilities for science education will be provided in all
parts of the country by upgrading and providing liberal grants
for science laboratories in all secondary schools. Centers for
professional excellence in various scientific disciplines will also be
promoted by providing highly qualified teachers and generous
scholarships for training abroad. National and provincial level
science competitions shall be organized to identify young talent.
Computer labs shall be established in all the government high
schools in the first phase. All merit students in public universities
shall be provided laptops to link them with the digital revolution.
Instruction of foreign languages shall be introduced in national
curriculum to meet the challenges of globalization.
Student career counseling services shall be introduced in
schools, colleges and universities.
Danish Schools shall be set up in all provinces.
Education Endowment Funds shall be set up in all provinces to
award merit scholarships to poor and needy students for higher
The Higher Education Commission will be given greater
autonomy and the required financial resources to ensure
adequate standards in Higher Education and inter provincial
coordination in such matters as curriculum and scientific
Technology Development Fund shall be established for HEC
scholars returning after completion of PhD to introduce new
technologies application in Pakistan.
Vice Chancellors of all public sector universities shall be
appointed through a transparent merit based process through
The standards in universities shall be raised to transform them
into world class universities. Additional higher educational
institutions will be established in public and private sectors,
especially in remote areas to increase enrolment in higher
education. Linkage of universities will be established with top
ranked universities of the world. Incentives will be given to
encourage research in higher educational institutions.
Vocational and technical education will be promoted, especially
in rural areas. Efforts will be made to integrate vocational
training with mainstream education to meet the needs of our
youth interested in following technical careers. At least one
world class technology university will also be established in
every province, and priority will be given to expand distance
learning programmes in public and private sector educational
Madrassas will be provided financial assistance and other
incentives to bring their syllabus and standards in conformity
with the mainstream education to improve the employment
prospects of Madrassa students. Also, vocational training will be
offered to them to encourage them to become entrepreneurs.
Education sector monitoring will be strengthened through
autonomous monitoring and evaluations authorities and use
of modern technology to check the performance of education
sector. Examination system will be improved by making it more
transparent, reliable and in line with international standards.
National Testing Service will be strengthened.
‘Reading culture’ will be promoted by developing libraries at
national, provincial and district levels equipped with modern
reference tools. Facilities for art, culture and sports will be
expanded and competitions shall be introduced at school level
as extra curricular activities.
A detailed action plan will be formulated to upgrade the
capacity of provincial governments for the effective handling
of additional responsibilities entrusted to them under the 18th
Amendment, including institutional restructuring to improve
educational administration through a Provincial Commission
for Higher Education and Establishment of autonomous District
Education Authorities (DEAs).
Special education institutions shall be expanded to enable
special children to attend schools.
Schools for Overseas Pakistani children to be transformed into
top quality education institutions. These shall be strengthened
through merit based transparent appointments, management
High quality education can play a significant role in developing world
class human capital, only if it is accompanied by opportunities for
entrepreneurship and innovation and a system which allows merit to
prevail in all spheres of national life.
Health delivery system in Pakistan is extremely inadequate. Basic
medical facilities are non-existent, especially in rural areas. Hospitals are
over-crowded and public awareness about primary health care is very
poor. PML(N) will aim at a three fold increase in the overall expenditure
on Health to at least 2% of GDP by 2018, as recommended by the
United Nations. High priority will be accorded to a preventive health
strategy to minimize costs of healthcare.
PML(N) will introduce a comprehensive National Health Service across
Pakistan with participation of the private sector. Salient features of the
National Health Service are outlined below:
A new National Health Insurance Scheme will be introduced for
the whole of Pakistan. Initially the scheme shall cover the most
vulnerable poorest segment of the population.
A new National Health Insurance card scheme will be introduced
to avail basic healthcare in a government hospital or by a general
practitioner at concessional rates initially, the scheme shall cover
the most vulnerable and poor segments of the population.
This facility will be free for children under 12 in full-time
education, senior citizens over 65 and families with low income.
Better off citizens will be able to receive medical cards by paying
the prescribed annual fee of Rs. 100 per person or Rs. 300 per
Existing Computerized National Identity Cards of beneficiaries shall
be replaced with smart cards detailing coverage details and usage
for each family covered under the programme. Entire programme
would thus be managed through state of art IT applications.
Coverage of Rs. 150,000 per annum would be provided for
each covered family for meeting indoor treatment, inclusive of
Participating hospitals shall receive payments from Insurance
companies. Premiums to Insurance companies shall be paid by
the provincial government. Programme shall be managed by
Existing Basic Health Units will be strengthened and where
possible leased to private Medical practitioners in public–private
partnership mode. Help will be provided to qualified doctors
who wish to set up new clinics.
Each District will have a District Healthcare Authority (DHA)
which will manage the health system under a semi-autonomous
Board of Governors (BoG) consisting of eminent community
representatives and professionals. The authority will also manage
hospitals in their respective districts.
Each District will have at least one hospital with complete
diagnostic facilities and specialist in required fields. It will also
have an institute for the training of paramedics and health
technicians. At least 1,000 mobile health units will be launched
to provide basic health facilities to remote areas and isolated
localities. These will be manufactured locally to reduce cost and
creating employment opportunities. Critical care units shall be
established in each Tehsil headquarters’ hospital.
Medical colleges and teaching hospitals will also become fully
autonomous bodies managed by their respective Board of
Governors for professional and administrative autonomy.
Provincial Governments will be encouraged to provide an
efficient medico-legal service. For this purpose facilities for legal
and forensic studies will be expanded in Medical Colleges.
The basic aim of the health programme will be to achieve, within
5 years, 100% vaccination of children, 50% reduction in maternal
and infant mortality and at least 10% reduction in the rate of
Provision of clean drinking water and safe sewerage disposal
will be given high priority to control diseases like Diarrhea and
Hepatitis. Schemes like Orangi Pilot Project will be replicated
throughout Pakistan to seek community participation in the
provision of services like water supply and sewerage at reduced
Aggressive educational campaigns shall be launched to control
diabetes, hepatitis, HIV, and cardiac disorders.
Private sector will be encouraged to expand pharmaceutical
manufacturing and setup manufacturing of diagnostic
equipment so that cheap and effective treatment is available to
An independent Drug and Food Administration will be set up
to enforce proper standards, check spurious drugs and regulate
prices of medicines to keep them within affordable limits.
Effective hospital hygiene and waste disposal programmes shall
Well-being of senior citizens and handicapped persons will be
ensured by special facilities, preferential access and concessions.
Special quotas will also be earmarked in jobs and educational
institutions for handicapped persons. Special arrangements will
be made to monitor public health issues.
In Islam, women enjoy a place of honor and dignity that is unparalleled
in history. The place of both men and women in the society is
acknowledged in Islam. It is for this reason that acquiring knowledge
has been ordained for both. PML(N) shall:
Ensure respect, dignity, and protection granted by Islam to
women and protect their property rights.
Promote participation of women in national development
and their social, political and economic empowerment by
recognizing their role as agents of change.
Give preference to women teachers in primary education.
Promote female education especially vocational skills training
and healthcare programmes to overcome gender gaps.
Enact or improve legislation on violence against women and
child abuse, and eliminate illegal and unjust practices under
which women are discriminated.
Expand micro credit for female borrowers substantially as a part
of the empowerment process, combined with special house
building credit facilities for widows.
An integrated population welfare programme is required across
Pakistan so as to maximize the demographic dividend and avoid
a demographic disaster. A key element of this program will be
improved female literacy.
Steps will also be taken to increase women’s participation ratios
in financial institutions, superior judiciary, health and educational
management and law enforcement agencies at executive level.
Inheritance and property rights of female heirs shall be
Institutional mechanism against harassment of women at
workplace shall be enforced.
Day Care facilities will be established to support working women
to make workplaces women friendly.
“Women Entrepreneurship Financing Scheme” shall be launched
to promote women entrepreneurship.
Youth is Pakistan’s future. More than 63 percent of our population is less
than 25 years of age. PML(N) believes that it is our youth which, if given
proper education and skills, can change the destiny of the nation. In
order to reap this demographic dividend a dynamic new National Youth
Policy will be implemented with the following important features:
Youth training and skill development programme shall be
initiated to create one million positions for apprenticeship in
trade and industry, in collaboration with the private sector to
ensure at least one job for every low income family.
Necessary legislation to make it compulsory for major industries
and service providers to ensure proper vocational training for
their workers will be enacted along with fiscal incentives.
Self-employment loans shall be extended to those who
complete training / apprenticeship, especially in the information
technology and other knowledge-based sectors.
Services of youth will be utilized in implementation of national
To involve youth in governance at the local level, special seats
will be reserved for them in the Union Councils and District
Councils to prepare them for a bigger role in National and
Inter-provincial visits of youth delegations in various disciplines
shall be organized through domestic tourism and exchanges.
Anti-addiction campaign shall be launched to protect youth
from drugs abuse.
29Agriculture and Food Security