Farmer support package to help millions

Farmer support package to help millions

ISLAMABAD, JUN 09 (DNA) —   Murtaza Mughal, President of Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW), lauded the Punjab Government on Sunday for introducing the Kisan Package, which can revive the agriculture sector and improve food security in the country.

He said that through this significant initiative, easy loans will be provided to farmers through the establishment of the Punjab Kisan Bank. He added that the comprehensive package for farmers includes the Green Tractor Scheme, local harvesters and agricultural equipment manufacturing, and the Oilseed Promotion Programme.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that a 70 percent subsidy on small tractors and a 50 percent subsidy on large tractors will be offered thorugh this package. Through the High-Tech Mechanisation Programme, local manufacturing of advanced agricultural equipment in collaboration with foreign companies will be ensured, and incentives will be offered to enhance the technological capabilities of agricultural sector.

Additionally, the Oilseed Promotion Programme was approved to encourage different regions of Punjab to cultivate oilseeds, as Pakistan is spending billions on the import of edible oil, he informed.

Through the Kisan Card, farmers will receive agricultural inputs, along with other benefits and facilities. Implementing solar-powered tube wells and the drip irrigation system, both critical components of modernizing farm infrastructure are also under review and a decision is expected soon.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that agriculture has never been given importance, so the agricultural country has been forced to import billions of dollars worth of agricultural products. In the past, many packages were announced for farmers, but the influential took all the benefits, and the small farmers were deprived.

He said that as long as small farmers are deprived the country’s food security situation will not improve. Punjab Kisan Bank should provide loans to small farmers on easy terms to free them from the clutches of moneylenders, he demanded.

If the package is implemented and merit is ensured, Pakistan can become an agricultural country in the true sense, which will help it overcome economic difficulties, he said, adding that other provinces should also follow suit and announced support packages for farmers. — DNA