ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Justice (r) Nasirul Mulk was briefed Thursday about the agriculture sector of the country and various efforts being made by Ministry of National Food Security and Research to overcome existing challenges and ensure food security in the country, besides increasing the overall contribution of the sector towards economy. The briefing held at Prime Minister’s Office was attended by Minister for National Food Security and Research (NFS&R) Muhammad Azam Khan, Secretary to Prime Minister Suhail Aamir, NFS&R Secretary Fazal Abbas Maken, PARC Chairman Dr Yusuf Zafar and senior officials. The NFS&R secretary while briefing the prime minister stated that agricultural sector was contributing 18.9% to GDP and employing 42.3% of the total labour force. It was shared that the growth rate of agriculture sector was recorded at 3.8% last year as compared to average rate of 2.13% during past five years. The secretary also briefed the prime minister about various aspects of National Food Security Policy aiming at achieving food security, promotion of sustainable food production systems and poverty alleviation. The prime minister appreciated the ministry and its attached departments for their efforts towards strengthening the agriculture sector, ensuring food security in the country and promoting welfare of the farmers and agriculturists. The prime minister observed that low productivity, high cost of production, water scarcity and weak technology transfer linkages were some of the major challenges that needed immediate attention. He also advised the ministry to work out a comprehensive plan to address the existing challenges and promote welfare of the farmers especially the small farmer so that the sector could be transformed into a vibrant sector of the economy. Separately, Prime Minister Justice (r) Nasirul Mulk Thursday chaired a briefing today on performance of Law and Justice Division at his office. Minister for Law Syed Ali Zafar, Secretary to Prime Minister Suhail Aamir, Additional Secretary Law Division Muhammad Khashihur Rehman and senior officials attended the briefing. The prime minister was given a detailed briefing on various functions and the performance of the division with regards to rendering of legal advices to various government departments/divisions, interpretation of laws, drafting, scrutiny and vetting of legislation and other legal matters. In his remarks, Prime Minister Mulk observed that the present day socio-economic challenges and the need for ensuring good governance necessitate revamping of the legal arm of the government. “Such revamping would enable the Law Division to perform its mandated functions in a more effective manner.” The prime minister said that a comprehensive plan for the purpose be drawn, which would assist the incoming democratic government in revamping the ministry. Published in Daily Times, June 15th 2018.