Maryam announces to establish model agriculture centres

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Maryam announces to establish model agriculture centres

DNA
Lahore, APR 1: Chief Minister Punjab Maryam Nawaz Sharif and Quaid Muhammad Nawaz Sharif co-chaired a meeting to review challenges of agriculture in Punjab.

Qiaid Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said,“The lack of quality seeds even after the lapse of four decades is a matter of grave concern.” He added,“Effective steps should be taken to plug the wastage of 37 MAF water from wastage in Punjab,” He emphasised on the need to use modern methods of irrigation for this purpose.

The Secretary Agriculture in his briefing on various projects for the development of agriculture in Punjab apprised that 1.7 MAF of water can be saved by paving 7300 water courses (Khalaas) in Punjab. A proposal to return rainwater to the ground by reverse pumping to improve groundwater levels was also reviewed in the meeting. Moreover, necessary measures to increase the rate of farm mechanization from 35 to 60 percent in Punjab were also discussed.

It was decided in the meeting that Rs 150-billion loan will be given to farmers for Rabi and Kharif crops. Quaid Muhammad Nawaz Sharif directed to formulate a simple eligibility criteria for the farmers to avail loans. Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif said,”When a farmer applies for a loan, it should be ensured that the loan is issued as soon as possible.” She added,”The Department of Agriculture should devise a fool-proof system of monitoring and feedback of the loan scheme.”

Madam Chief Minister also gave in-principle approval of a pilot project for the recruitment of Agriculture Officers and Field Assistants against their vacant posts. She directed to ensure adherence to merit in the recruitment process.

Madam Chief Minister also gave approval to establish research endowment fund worth Rs 500 million for Ayub Research Center. Moreover, it was decided to ensure coordination of the sub-institutions of Agriculture Department for research, better performance and good governance.

It was also decided in the meeting to amend the Fertilizer and Pesticide Act.

Senior Provincial Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Information Minister Azma Zahid Bukhari, Agriculture Minister Ashiq Hussain Kirmani, Senator Pervaiz Rashid, MPA Sania Ashiq, Secretaries Agriculture, Finance, President Bank of Punjab and other relevant officers attended the meeting.