Rs 2.88 billion programme to boost agriculture, productivity
FAISALABAD: DirectorGeneral Agriculture (Extension & Adaptive Research) Punjab Dr Anjum Ali has claimed that a crash programme costing Rs 2.88 billion for boosting agriculture productivity in flood affected districts of Punjab has been devised.
As many as 84 per cent farmers have already been provided certified seeds, fertilizers, besides rehabilitation of flood affected areas.
Talking to APP here on Monday, Dr Anjum said that 1.3 million acres agriculture land was severely affected in seven districts of Punjab, including Bhakkar, DG Khan, Layyah, Mianwali, Muzaffargarh, Rahim Yar Khan and Rajanpur due to floods.
He said that it was a gigantic task to motivate the farming community to concentrate on agriculture productivity in the wake of unprecedented damages caused by the flood which crippled them economically and also badly affected the structure and texture of soil.
He said that the agriculture extension department accepted the challenge to motivate the affected farming community and to bring them in the productivity cycle.
He revealed that in the first phase, the agriculture Extension department accomplished a ground survey of affected lands and set
priorities as per wishes of the farming community to kick off the Rabbi season and ensure the provision of seeds, fertilizers and other inputs to farmers.
He further said that under Phase-II, distribution of seed and fertilizer free of cost among cultivators affected by floods in the province in a transparent manner was initiated and this processes is in the final stages.
He said that the whole project costs Rs2.88 billion which has been equally shared by the federal and Punjab governments.
He said that wheat production target for the Rabi season 2010-11 has been set at 25 million tons, some 1.5 million ton above the assessed national food requirement at 23.5 million ton, and it was impossible to achieve this target had the flood affected areas not been brought in the fold of cultivation, adding so far 202430 farmers have been provided with seeds, fertilizers in seven districts with an area of 876,000 acres, which would greatly help achieve the target of the wheat and other Rabi crops.
More than 237,000 affected farmers of 1452 villages will benefit from the relief package of the government, he added.
Moreover, a three-day international training workshop for Business Incubation in Pakistan started the Higher Education Commission (HEC) here on Monday to spread awareness among youth and other stakeholders who are interested in business activities.
The workshop has been by the HEC, Competitiveness Support Fund (CSF), COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) and National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST).
HEC Executive Director Dr. Sohail Naqvi was the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony. CSF is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Finance and USAID. The incubation centres will be a step towards commercialization of universities' research and development activities and will lead towards indigenous production and provision of quality jobs to intelligentsia and also help reduce the brain drain. -App
ISLAMABAD: Dr. Azmat Hayat Khan, Vice Chancellor, University of Peshawar presenting a souvenir to Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture Nazar Muhammad Gondal at the inaugural ceremony of International Workshop on Watershed in North West Frontier Region. -App