Lack of appropriate communication between experts and farmers is hampering improvement in per acre yield despite the fact that 33 million out of 50 million acres of agricultural land in the Punjab is being cultivated, Agriculture Minister Ahmad Ali Aulakh said on Monday.
He was presiding over a session of the University of Agriculture Faisalabad’s 37th senate meeting.
Vice Chancellor Iqrar Ahmad Khan was also present. Registrar Muhammad Hussain introduced the agenda before the house and Treasurer Muhammad Ashraf Mumtaz tabled the budget.
Aulakh said the government was making all-out efforts to increase the per acre production of major crop. Talking about agricultural reforms, he said the government had distributed 30,000 subsidised tractors among farmers at a cost of Rs6 billion.
He said the Punjab Wheat Competition had helped increase productivity. The contest, he said, was meant to motivate farmers to apply latest practices in the fields.
“The winner of the contest this year produced 80 maunds (3,200 kg) of wheat from an acre.”
Aulakh said that the government had invested heavily to improve the supply chain management and storage to reduce post-harvest losses.
Talking about educational reforms, he said the government had provided scholarship worth Rs10 billion to support talented students.
Danish School, distribution of laptops and solar lamps, he said, were proof of the Punjab government’s commitment to education.
Dr Khan praised the government for providing Rs500 million to university in the last five years.
He also talked about setting up campused in Layyah and Burewala. He said the university was working on ways to meet the needs of 30,000 students by 2030 at its main campus.
Prof Masood Sadiq Butt and Prof Asghar Bajwa were elected as members of the syndicate for three years.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 12th, 2013.