PR No. 105
Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives, Ahsan Iqbal, Inaugurates Seventh Agricultural Census 2024
Islamabad: July 10, 2024

Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives, Ahsan Iqbal, inaugurated the Seventh Agricultural Census 2024 at a ceremony held by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). In his address, he emphasized the significant achievement of conducting a highly transparent digital census with the consensus of all provinces using advanced technology. Speaking at the event, Minister Ahsan Iqbal congratulated the PBS on the successful launch of the seventh agricultural census. He highlighted the importance of agricultural statistics for a predominantly agrarian country like Pakistan and praised PBS for introducing an automated local system. This new system will facilitate decision-making based on reliable data, helping to enhance agricultural productivity in line with the growing population. The data collected will be instrumental in formulating agricultural policies, identifying areas with potential for increased productivity, and providing necessary resources to achieve better yields. It will also support initiatives aimed at improving farmers' productivity and overall welfare. The Minister further noted that Pakistan's future economic stability hinges on increasing exports, particularly in the agricultural sector. He stressed the need to learn from other countries, such as India, which has conducted eleven agricultural censuses compared to Pakistan’s seven. Despite facing similar challenges, other nations have progressed, and it is crucial for Pakistan to catch up. He acknowledged the difficult economic situation, stating that any government would struggle with the current fiscal deficit, making it essential to focus on increasing revenue and exports. He urged for unity and collaboration to overcome these challenges, emphasizing the need for export-led growth to stabilize the economy and secure a prosperous future for coming generations. Chief Statistician Naeem us Zafar thanked the provincial ministers and relevant departments for their cooperation in making the seventh agricultural census possible. Muhamamd Sarwar Gondal, the Focal Person / Member for the integrated digital agriculture census, provided a detailed briefing on the census system. He explained that PBS has introduced an automated tablet-based system to facilitate policy-making for provinces and relevant departments. This system provides dashboards to DCs, agricultural departments, livestock authorities, and other related entities for real-time data monitoring and analysis. For the first time in Pakistan’s history, the census integrates crop, livestock, and agricultural machinery data, saving approximately two billion rupees. Utilizing PBS’s digital infrastructure and resources, the automated system has saved an additional 320 million rupees. This initiative marks a significant step towards improving agricultural data collection and policy-making in Pakistan, reflecting the government's commitment to leveraging technology for national development.