ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has stressed the need to empower farmers by offering them interest-free loans. He expressed these views during a meeting with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Food Security, Jamshed Iqbal Cheema regarding farm gate pricing in Islamabad. The meeting reviewed the existing farm gate price mechanism and the problems faced by the farmers in transporting the perishable commodities particularly vegetables and fruits to the nearest market. The finance minister said achieving economic sustainability is the biggest challenge in the field of agriculture. He discussed modalities for the provision of micro-credit to farmers, enabling them to purchase fertiliser, pesticides, and other basic inputs through syndicates of banks and microfinance institutions. The finance minister underlined the need to build commodity warehouses and cold storage facilities for farmers across the country, enabling them to transport perishable commodities to the point of sale in time.