Meeting reviews progress on CM’s initiatives in agri sector

LAHORE    -   A meeting was held under the Transforming Punjab Agriculture Package at Agriculture House Lahore, under the chairmanship of Agriculture and Livestock Minister Punjab Syed Ashiq Hussain Kirmani. In the meeting progress of approved initiatives of Chief Minister Punjab Maryam Nawaz in the Agriculture field was reviewed. On this occasion, Secretary Agriculture Punjab Iftikhar Ali Sahoo, Additional Secretary Agriculture Task Force Punjab Muhammad Shabir Ahmed Khan, Project Director Anjum Ali, DG Field Agriculture Ahmad Sohail, DG Agriculture Extension Chaudhry Abdullah Hameed and Director General Agriculture Information Punjab Naveed Ismat Kahlon and other officers of the department also participated. Punjab Agriculture and Livestock Minister Syed Ashiq Hussain Kirmani while addressing the meeting said that Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif’s agricultural package worth more than 150 billion rupees will prove to be a game changer for the farmers. A new era of Agriculture prosperity in Punjab will begin while implementing this package. He directed to highlight the initiatives of the Chief Minister on the Agriculture House Website, Facebook, Twitter and Helpline. A separate page will be developed for each initiative on the website to guide the farmers. The provincial minister directed the farmers to make the formula for the distribution of 35 types of farm level equipment according to the regional formula. For the success of Chief Minister Punjab Green Tractor Scheme, rules and regulations should be followed and third party evaluation is necessary. Dashboard development, registration and non-transferability for 5 years conditions should be ensured. He also directed to make Kisan card mandatory for eligibility for green tractor scheme and issued the instructions for recruitment of 1000 agricultural trainee graduates on merit.

The Provincial Minister endorsed that Pesticide, Seed and Fertilizer companies should be bound to give preference to these trainee graduates for offering jobs in their company after completing one year of training at Agriculture House. Syed Ashiq Hussain Kirmani further said that for the promotion of oil seed crops, a comprehensive program should be made for the awareness of farmers to attract and convince them towards oil seed crops so that we can minimize the import Bill. Minister maintained that by supplying 5000 super seeders and 2000 rice shredders to the farmers at 60 percent subsidy will help in controlling the Smog in the province.

Provincial Agriculture Secretary Punjab Iftikhar Ali Sahoo said on this occasion that till now about 169 thousand applications have been received from farmers to benefit from interest free loan of Kisan Card, out of which about 59 thousand applications have been approved. He said that strategies are being formulated to introduce brand harvesters to reduce losses during harvesting of rice and wheat. He maintained that the green tractor scheme plays an important role in farm mechanization.