No im­port of fruits, veg­eta­bles from neigh­bor­ing coun­tries to pro­tect farm­ers in­ter­est: Bosan

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

The Fed­eral Min­is­ter for Na­tional Food Se­cu­rity and Re­search, Sikan­dar Hayat Khan Bosan Fri­day as­sured farm­ers that the govern­ment would not al­low im­port of fruits and veg­eta­bles from the negh­bour­ing coun­tries as long as lo­cal com­modi­ties are avail­able in the mar­ket.

The min­is­ter was ad­dress­ing the con­clud­ing cer­e­mony of train­ing course on Skill De­vel­op­ment of Balochis­tan farm­ers at Na­tional Agri­cul­tural Re­search Cen­ter (NARC) here. "As long as your fruits and veg­eta­bles are avail­able in the mar­ket, we will not al­low im­port from our negh­bour­ing coun­tries," the as­sured the farm­ers. He said that the in­ter­est of farm­ers was our pri­or­ity.

He said the Irani ap­ple was not now be­ing im­ported through Baluchis­tan, rather it came through Turkham or­der. High­light­ing the im­por­tance of wa­ter avail­abil­ity, the min­is­ter said that de­vel­op­ment of wa­ter reser­voirs and dams in Baluchis­tan was need of the hour, how­ever added that af­ter the 18th amend­ment in the con­sti­tu­tion, the re­sources have been shifted to the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments, so they need to take mea­sures to build such fa­cil­i­ties. The min­is­ter said that the fed­eral govern­ment would def­i­nitely as­sist in build­ing of dams, how­ever it is duty of pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments to take ini­tia­tives in this di­rec­tion The fed­eral min­is­ter said that the provinces had now ad­e­quate funds to build such fa­cil­i­ties. He said that the bud­get of his min­istry has been re­duced from Rs.32 bil­lion to just Rs.1 bil­lion af­ter the 18th amend­ment. He said that mea­sures would be ini­ti­ated to build tube-wells in the prov­ince to fa­cil­i­tate the farm­ers en­hance their pro­duc­tion.

The Min­is­ter, while em­pha­siz­ing the need for pro­vid­ing train­ing to farm­ers said that the govern­ment aims to train as many as 1000 Baluchis­tan through the on­go­ing pro­gramme ini­ti­ated by NARC. He said that fur­ther 1000 farm­ers would be pro­vided train­ing through the same pro­gramme in the next phase.

It is per­ti­nent to men­tion here that NARC has trained as many as 331 farm­ers of Baluchis­tan out of the to­tal 1000 tar­geted un­der its train­ing pro­gramme. Speak­ing on the oc­ca­sion, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral NARC, Dr. Muham­mad Azeem Khan said that the agri­cul­ture projects worth Rs.360 mil­lion were be­ing car­ried out in Baluchis­tan prov­ince. He said that plant­ing olive on about 20, 000 hecrter land and cul­ti­va­tion of pis­ta­chio in Baluchis­tan was also on cards. The event, among oth­ers, was at­tended by farm­ers of Balochis­tan and se­nior of­fi­cials of Pak­istan Agri­cul­tural Re­search Coun­cil and NARC.

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