Rs 2.88 bil­lion pro­gramme to boost agri­cul­ture, pro­duc­tiv­ity

The Pak Banker - - 2national -

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

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