Provincial Minister for Agriculture Ahmed Ali Aulakh said the Punjab Government would purchase 4 million tonnes of wheat during the coming season through food department on the price fixed by the federal government. Addressing a seminar at residence of Dr Saeed Rabani on Tuesday, the minister said CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif was paying special attention to the agriculture sector to maintain the self-reliance in food.
He said the govt had provided tractors to 30,000 farmers on subsidised rates to promote the agriculture. Ahmad Ali said that a mega project worth Rs 36 billion was on the cards by the Punjab government in a bid to uplifting the agricultural sector and protecting the available water resources. He said that under the scheme, drip irrigation system was being introduced for 1.4 million acres besides brick-lining of the 9,000 watercourses and providing the 3,000 Laser Land Levellers.
He said that the Punjab government was working on setting up small dams in a bid to save the water as country was throwing 35 MAF of water to seas. He said that this government had provided as many as Rs one billion grant to the Punjab Agricultural Research Board in order to execute research projects to meet the agricultural challenges. He said the government was considering providing additional amount of Rs 1 billion for the board keeping in view introducing new varieties of various crops and control the viruses including CLVC. He said that during the tenure of his government, 65 new state-of the-art varieties of different crops including 8 of cotton had been approved by the Punjab Seed Corporation, which would help increase the agricultural production manifold.
The minister said the government has earmarked Rs 650 million for the promoting of tunnel farming across the province. He said that to share the financial burden of farming community, Rs 0.2 million had been provided as subsidy per tractor under the Punjab Chief Minster Green Tractor Scheme, for promoting the machine cultivation.
He said that the government had also earmarked Rs one billion has been allocated for the agricultural implements for promoting latest technology across the province. He said that the government had seized fake agricultural medicines and materials worth 350 million.
He urged the agricultural scientists and water experts to set up a forum for providing recommendations on the water issues to the government. He said that such valuable recommendations to be presented before the Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif for execution. He urged the agricultural engineers to come forward by developing low cost machineries to solve the problems of small farmers. He urged Extension Department to expedite the efforts about educating the farmers in order to boosting up agriculture.