The Punjab government will spend Rs100 billion during the next two years for the development of agriculture sector, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Tuesday.
He was presiding over a meeting to review the recommendations made during the Punjab Agriculture Conference 2016.
“Full attention will be paid to agriculture research. The government is implementing a comprehensive programme for uplifting the agriculture sector. All out resources are being utilised for the prosperity of farmers. Provision of necessary facilities to farmers is essential for promoting agriculture,” he said. The CM said that all government departments should take practical measures for the prosperity of cultivators.
The chief minister said that various programmes would be started to ensure the prosperity of farmers. “Progress and prosperity of farmers is the top priority of the government. We are moving forward in this direction by adopting a farmers-friendly policy,” he said.
Shahbaz Sharif said that he would personally monitor the measures taken under the historic Rs100 billion package announced for the prosperity of farmers and development of agriculture sector.
“All steps will be taken for the progress of agriculture and farmers. Agriculture production and area under cultivation will be increased,” he said.
The chief minister said that maximum efforts would be made to protect cultivators from the losses due to the recession in agriculture commodity prices at international level.
He said that financial, legal and administrative measures would be taken to curtail the losses suffered by farmers.
“Immediate measures are needed for the standardisation of agricultural machinery,” he said.
The chief minister directed officials to take steps to activate the Punjab Agriculture Research Board. “Special attention should be paid to research to enhance agriculture production and the area under cultivation,” he said.
He said that there was a need to share fruits of agriculture research with farmers. “The promotion of technology, research development and agriculture extension is essential for development of agriculture sector and progress of farmers,” he said.
The CM said that all government departments had to play an active role for the development of the agriculture sector. The chief minister directed officials to submit a practicable and final plan for strengthening the agriclture sector.
He said that a committee, headed by the chief secretary, should be constituted to present a comprehensive roadmap within a few days for development of agriculture sector and welfare of farmers.
The agriculture secretary briefed the meeting on the measures proposed for the development of agriculture sector. Ministers Rana Sanaullah, Bilal Yasin, Dr Farrukh Javed, Mian Yawar Zaman, Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Muhammad Asif Malik, Special Assistant to CM Arshad Jatt, CM’s Adviser Ijaz Nabi, Chief Secretary Captain (r) Zahid Saeed and the Planning and Development Board chairman were also present.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2016.