Why agricultural subsidies don’t always work


Islamabad, Nov 05 (TNS): Bringing change to the agriculture sector is not easy. Farmers tend to stick to their age-old practices, which are less profitable and eco-friendly than new ones.

Successive governments have been offering various incentives to the farming community to promote good agricultural practices (GAP). But many beneficiaries adopt new techniques and technologies as long as subsidies or incentives remain available. Many of them stop adhering to GAP after the scheme or project is over.

Punjab Agriculture Minister Malik Nauman Langrial announced recently that the provincial government would offer seeds of sunflower and other oil crops to farmers on subsidised rates next season onwards.

A senior official of the department, who earlier undertook various fruit and vegetable cultivation promotion projects, is critical of such subsidy schemes. Funds mostly go wasted as a majority of farmers stops implementing GAP and does away with the recommended technologies soon after the subsidy ends, he says.