BAHAWALPUR: Provincial Agriculture Secretary Muhammad Mahmood has said the Punjab government has introduced a new agriculture policy which will extend maximum economic relief to farmers. For the purpose, funds worth Rs350 billion have been approved by the government.
He said this while presiding over a high level meeting to discuss various issues related to agriculture sector the other day. He added the new policy initiative aimed to revitalise the agriculture sector through sustained financial and technical intervention which would bring economic relief to millions of farmers in the province.
He maintained, “The process of electronic registration of farmers is underway at land record centres which would enable them to get Kisan cards. Through these cards, farmers would receive interest free and easy installment based loans throughout the province.”
The agriculture secretary pointed out farmers will be provided modern android mobile phones which would enable them to get themselves acquainted about the latest changes in weather, technical assistance regarding farming, new trends in the agriculture economy and to enhance their economic empowerment to sell their products at better rates.
“The farmers would get information pertaining to various aspects of farming regarding sowing of crops, irrigation, spraying of pesticides and harvesting,” he said. “The process is aimed to modernise farming on scientific lines."
He said the government had also earmarked massive funds worth Rs27 billion to provide pesticides and fertilizers at subsidised rates to the farming community. He said special magistrates had been appointed to check hoarding and black marketing. He said the government had waived tax on pesticides so that farmers could get them at affordable prices.
Mahmood said, “Punjab government has undertaken a new initiative to provide interest free and easy installment based agriculture loans to cultivators, contractors and lease holders which would expand the number of beneficiaries in the agriculture sector."
He further said the government had also launched an initiative to prepare a credit history of owners of big land and small peasants which aimed to streamline the loan extending system to the genuine beneficiaries.
"The government has launched a comprehensive programme to restructure and revitalise the agriculture department by providing 300 new vehicles, 2,500 new motor bikes and 600 laptops to the officials,” he maintained.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 28th, 2016.
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