The Agriculture Department of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa was working on new varieties of wheat, rice, sugarcane and other crops to improve the yield while giving subsidy to the farmers on cultivation, said Director Agriculture Department Charsadda Ali Khan.Talking to APP on Tuesday he said that the department had distributed 8,637 bags of newly introduced variety of wheat seed among farmers this year and gave Rs1200 subsidy on each bag to increase the wheat production.
He said that new seeds gave very good results during the experimental period, adding that the new variety is expected to give considerable profit boost to farmers besides making the yield double. Ali Khan said the department was also giving Rs5000 subsidy on cultivation of sunflowers, canola and sesame to make the K-P self-sufficient in production of edible oils.Referring to rice cultivation in district Charsadda, he said that Rs1200 subsidy is being given on each acre on cultivation of new variety of rice, adding that Agriculture Department has set up multiple branches in different tehsils and at union level for guidance, facilitation and purchase of new varieties of seeds.In order to bring barren land under cultivation, he said the department has constructed small rain-fed dam in Pallai area to store rain water and irrigate the barren lands, adding that in the area the department has also planted three orchards of mangos, apricot and peach on six acre of lands for eight farmers.
He said they have recently introduced new and improved variety of sugarcane which gives 4,000 kilogram jaggery from 80 ‘Maan’ (3200 kg) seeds.
The farmers are also being given Chip Bud technology to get seed from sugarcane crop for re-cultivation, he said, adding that it reduced the cultivation cost to zero for the farmers. Ali Khan said that in order to increase the income, farmers are encouraged to adopt new seeds, innovative methods and use DIP and Potash fertilizers which increase the yield many times and lead to higher income.
He said that in order to make Pakistan self-sufficient in the field of agricultural commodities, Imran Khan had launched the Prime Minister’s Agriculture Program in the year 2019, after which the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Agriculture Department, on the direction of the provincial government, expanded it to the entire province.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2021.
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