The Punjab government has allocated a collective sum of Rs 7.2 billion for agriculture and livestock sectors in its Annual Development Programme (ADP) 2013-14. For agriculture, the provincial government has allocated a sum of Rs 5.5 billion while for livestock Rs 1.7 billion has been allocated. The break-up shows that Rs 5.084 billion have been allocated for ongoing schemes of the agriculture sector while Rs 416 million for new schemes. Rs 739 million have been earmarked for new schemes in livestock sector and Rs 261 million for ongoing schemes.
The budget documents say that these sectors have immense economic potential as these provide food and fiber besides there are major sources of foreign exchange while more than 45 percent of population is directly or indirectly dependent on these sectors. Livestock is a newly emerging economic sector with high potential in terms of economic returns. Farmers earn about 30 to 40 percent of their income from livestock.
According to the documents, strategic interventions planned for the next financial year in agriculture sector include supply chain improvement to provide three-tier support to farmers, processors and exporters to enhance export of fruits and vegetables; Punjab Irrigated-Agriculture Productivity Improvement project for improvement of water courses, propagation of high efficiency irrigation system and laser land levelling services in private sector.
The government also plans to strengthen research facilities for the development of silage type corn varieties, up-scaling cotton fibre quality research facilities, developing genetic engineering facilities at Agriculture Biotechnology Research Institute, AARI, Faisalabad and rapid and mass multiplication of olive and grapes through conventional and micro-propagation techniques.
While interventions planned in livestock sector are aimed at enhancing production and marketing of livestock products in Layyah, Mianwali, Khushab and Bhakkar, restructuring and re-organisation of breeding services and strengthening of Buffalo Research Institute at Pattoki.