The federal government would provide over 10,000 wheat seed bags to the farmers belonging to affected areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, whereas 690,000 seed bags would be delivered to farmers of Balochistan, said an official in the Ministry of National Food Security and Research on Monday.
He further apprised that about 4.04 million acres of agriculture land in Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces were affected due to floods, adding that a committee was also formed to review the situation and evolve mechanism to ensure all possible incentives for the restoration of agriculture and livestock sector in these areas.
The ministry will start distribution of free wheat seeds to the farmers of flood-hit areas from November 10 in order to ensure maximum sowing of the crop to revive agriculture sector in these areas, he said adding that in this regard a digital application has been developed to deliver and distribute seeds among the flood-hit farmers in a transparent and efficient manner.
Each seed bag would comprise of 50 kg of different approved verities while the cost of the scheme amounts to Rs17.16 billion. "The scheme covers about 78% areas affected due to floods and torrential rains during current moon soon season", he added.
Out of the total allocated seed bags, about 50,000 bags would be distributed among the affected farmers of Punjab Province, he said adding that 2.44 million bags would be provided to growers from the affected areas of Sindh.
Moreover, wheat sowing in Punjab Province has been completed over 13.9% area as the crop cultivation witnessed about 0.1% increase against the cultivation during corresponding period of last year.
By the first week of current month (November), wheat crop sowing completed over 2,257 thousand acres as against the set targets of 16,220 thousand acres fixed for crop season 2022-23, he said.
He said that according to data provided by the crop reporting department of Punjab, the wheat sowing was gaining momentum in rain fed areas of North Punjab due to timely rains and favorable weather conditions as wheat sowing was achieved by 12.1% and in South Punjab it was completed over 16.6% as against the set targets.
The sowing data from other provinces were awaited and it is expected that it would be received by next week, which would depict the overall sowing scenario, he said adding that early sowing in rain fed areas would help to boost overall sowing and achieve the set target of the season.
Meanwhile, he informed that government had announced a special package of Rs1,800 billion to promote and develop local agriculture sector, particularly restoring and reviving agriculture in flood affected areas by ensuring provision of free seeds, access to credit, besides bring reducing the prices of fertilizers and electricity for tubewells.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 8th, 2022.
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