ISLAMABAD - The government has disbursed Rs12,817 million under Prime Minister Youth Agriculture Loan Scheme in order to encourage youth towards agriculture entrepreneurship as well as promote the agriculture and livestock sector in the country.
The initiative was aimed at creating livelihood opportunities for the huge existing bulge of youth in the country through incentivizing the agriculture sector, said an official in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research. Talking to APP here on Friday, he said that the amount was disbursed among the youth from all four provinces including Azad Jammu Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan to absorb the existing bulge of youth in agriculture entrepreneurship to promote the sector in the country.
He said that the initiative was also aiming at encouraging them to adopt agriculture as a carer to become entrepreneurs as well as creating employment opportunities for other skilled and semi-skilled workforce. He said that over 24,776 applications were approved and out of that 23,857 applications were disbursed, adding that an amount of Rs14,917 million was approved and Rs12,817 million disbursed among the applicants.
Meanwhile, he said that the government under the Kissan Package has provided Rs3,830.9 million in interest-free loans by June, 2023 to landless farmers, which were badly affected due to torrential rains and flash floods during last year. By the month of June 2023 the interest-free loans were provided to about 35,405 landless farmers in order to revive the agriculture sector in flood-hit areas across the country, he added.
The government has introduced a multi-billion rupee Kissan Package to revive the agriculture sector and enhance the per-acre output of major and minor crops, aiming to achieve sustainable agricultural growth and economic development, he added. Additionally, the government disbursed Rs12,817 million under Prime Minister Youth Business and Agriculture Scheme to 23,857 farmers, which provides financial assistance and support to young farmers in agriculture entrepreneurship, added.
He said that recognizing the importance of farm mechanization, the government had provided Rs1,056 million to 507 farmers under the markup and risk scheme, he said adding that the initiative aimed to enhance productivity and efficiency in the agriculture sector.
Moreover, the State Bank of Pakistan’s Refinancing Facility for Modernization of SMEs (RFMS) allocated Rs5.414 billion to include agro-SMEs in the SME modernization scheme. Out of this amount, Rs2.953 billion has been availed by agro-based SMEs, leading to the overall development of the agricultural small and medium-sized enterprises, he added.