Food production should get priority
Candidate No. 1.
|Candidate No.3. |
Friends Pakistan is rich in natural wealth. We have vast tracts of fertile lands. We also have rivers. The South West and North East monsoons bring us normally bountiful rains in a regular manner. Yet, we have come to the shameful situation of begging for food from foreign countries like America, Canada and others. This is deplorable. Every Pakistani should be ashamed that this country has literally to beg for food, just as a beggar does with a bowl in his hands inmost of our cities. This situation has arisen because we have attempted to ape the Western countries and industrialization our country at the cost of food production. Our Five-Year Plans gave priority to industrialization than to food production. As a result we have neither food, nor industry. Always the first thing must come first. Man cannot live without food. For a starving, hungry individual, food is more important than car, radio and other such industrial goods. Our independence, democracy and other valuable inheritances will all disappear if the people were to rise in revolt. Because of hunger. If we have to get food from America or Canada, we cannot but dance to their tunes. Beggars cannot be choosers. I am, therefore, absolutely positive that food production should get priority over industrialization in Pakistan.
Candidate No. 4.
Pakistan is basically an agricultural country and practically 80 percent of Pakistan’s population is living in the villages, engaged in agricultural activities. On the other hand Pakistan is woefully lagging behind in industrial development. When 80 percent of our people are already engaged in agriculture, I do not see any sense in the argument that we should give further priority to food production. If you ask me, all these years we have been concentrating on food production only to the exclusion of all else. If there is poverty and hunger, in spite of that, then there is some thing radically wrong somewhere. The starvation and hunger is mainly due to population explosion. Even the Green Revolution has failed to cope up with the population explosion. Only industrialized countries have succeeded in containing population growth. The birth rate in advanced Western countries is very much lower than in Pakistan and other agricultural countries. You can thus see that according priority to agriculture, in preference to industrialization will there fore prove very harmful to the country. I therefore strongly oppose the proposition.
My dear brothers, our friends, Nos. 2 and 4 think that all our problems can be solved if we ape the Westerners and copy their methods of industrialization. This is a completely mistaken notion. We became slaves and our nation became poor and back ward, only because we forget our culture, tradition and know how and tried to imitate the Westerners, we can weave better cloth, make better utensils and produce better quality goods than what the Westerners can do with their machines. Even today the Westerners are attempting to smuggle away our precious handicrafts. There is a great demand in Western countries for our hand-made silverware, gold, jewelry, silks and so on. If we ape the West and try t copy their methods of industrialization, we will always remain backward. The machine cannot give employment to the millions who are unemployed. On the other hand if we concentrate on agriculture and cottage industry, we will become self-reliant and happy. I, therefore, entirely agree that food production should get priority. In fact we should not waste our money and time on industrialization at all. Agriculture and cottage industry will prove tot be our salvation.
Candidate No. 6.
Friends, first Five-Year Plan had a tilt or base towards food production. The second, third, fourth and fifth plans, gave emphasis de industrialization. This does not mean that food production was neglected. All our plans have catered for increased food production. But the priority in the subsequent plans was accorded to industrialization. Thanks to this Pakistan has emerged from an undeveloped country to the state of a developing nation. We have been able to fight two wars victoriously with India in 1965 and in 1971. You all know that India got military aid from Russia and America. But no body gave us such free airs. We have to depend entirely on our indigenous resources. Second, many things which were importe are now made in Pakistan. In many cases indigenous goods have turned out to be even superior to the imported ones. Our products are now exported to many other countries. The shortage of food has occurred because of repeated failure of monsoons in the face of increasing population. If we had normal monsoon rains and the family planning scheme had clicked we may even have had surplus food. Besides, to get more field from our lands we need fertilizers.
Fertilizers can be made available only with the advancement of industry. You can take it for granted that Pakistan would have been no where but for its rapid industrial development. To talk of priority for food production is, therefore, not a correct solution. What we need is balanced development. Our approach should not be rigid or dogmatic. In a particular year or period we may have to give priority to food. The current period is one such occasion. Now there to invest more on agriculture. In other years we may have to concentrate on industrial development. The proposition thus needs to be modified.
Gentlemen, first things must always come first and there is no question of changing the priorities. Man’s first need is food to satisfy his hunger. In fact man’s search for food, and search for fertile lands where food can be grown in abundance has been responsible for the growth of civilization itself. It is foolish to except no variations in monsoons. One has to be prepared to f ace the vagaries of nature with confidence. This is possible only if we have enough food. Since we have plenty of lands, it is foolish not to accord priority to agriculture and obtain all the food we can. To fight a war we also need food besides, airplanes and tanks. Since human beings cannot survive without food, it should be quite obvious to anyone that its production should get top priority. I am rather surprised that there’re could be any opposition at all to such an obvious proposition.
Candidate No. 8.
Friends, in modern economic concept production, I by and large, conditioned by demand. If there is demand for food it will be produced, if there is demand for industrial goods they will be produced. When their was surplus food in world market and shortage of industrial goods, naturally priority had to be accorded to industrialization. Where as the demand for food is short lived, the demand for industrial goods is constant and also on the increase. Let us consider the case of Japan. Japan’s method of intensive cultivation is now being copied all over the world. Bur one can see that Japan has accorded priority to industrial development. Because of its industrial advance Japan gained dominance in Asia before World War II. Even today it remains as one of the rich countries. As one of our friends said, no agricultural nation today can rise to become a World Power. Even for intensive cultivation which needs tractor, fertilizer and other mechanical aids, we need industrialization. It is, there fore, obvious, that while paying the necessary attention to food production, we have to accord priority to industrialization.
This is an above average group. All candidates have taken active part and presented their views fluently ad effectively. However No, 6 and 8 have been able to think in depth and advance quite a few original arguments. No. 6 in particular argued for a balanced approach. He did not favor any dogmatic or rigid stand. He thus displays a realistic and flexible attitude. This being a n important social attribute, he has an edge over the others.