Peshawar: KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has announced provision of free hybrid seeds of wheat and sale of fertilizer on 50% discount for the farming community on the condition that 50% of the produce would be sold to KP government in order to get rapid food autarky in the province.
“We are working on a crash plan to make the barren lands cultivable and ensure reclamation of maximum area for agricultural purposes”, he added.
He was addressing a ceremony at Tarnab Farm Peshawar after handing over 17 new bulldozers to Agriculture Department and inaugurating solar tube-well scheme as chief guest.
The ceremony was also addressed by provincial minister agriculture Ikram Ullah Gandapur and Secretary Agriculture Muhammad Hamayun Khan who besides highlighting the concrete steps of provincial government for promotion of agriculture and using latest technology also appreciated vision of the chief minister in this regard.
The function besides speaker KP Assembly Haji Asad Qaisar, Provincial ministers Mian Jamshed ud-Din Kaka Khel, Amjad Afridi, Parliamentary Secretary Agriculture Zarin Zia, Chairman standing committee Muhammad Jan, PTI Provincial President Azam Swati and General Secretary Khalid Masood was largely attended by farmers community and elite of the area.
Pervez Khattak said that efforts are underway to increase cultivable land and convert more barren land into fertile fields and orchards as well as agricultural engineering wing of agriculture department would be fully strengthened. He said funds for purchase of more bulldozers were also being increased next year.
Similarly, solar irrigation tube-wells were being promoted to enable the farmer community get rid of load shedding and power tariff hike. He said that G.T. Road from Attock to Peshawar as well as ring road and all other highways were also being converted to solar street lights so that all these roads are brightened all the nights without fear of power failure.
Chief minister stressed on the authorities of Agriculture Department for bringing improvement in the performance of the department and introduce new seed, instruments, fertilizers, pesticides and fully include farmers in their activities, This, he said would not result in improving the prestige of the department, rather the government would extend full encouragement to them.
He said that with the present performance of the department, he is neither satisfied in the capacity of the minister nor as farmer as in past he in the status of minister has failed in getting consultations and technical assistance for orchards and crops to benefit small growers.
Similarly, he said the department has neither established roots among the farmers and other stakeholders and nor promoted the modern and scientific agricultural techniques rather the whole rural agricultural community is following the same old and outdated mode of agriculture.
However, he said now the time of awakening has arrived and now we have to change our habits and attitude to serve the people with honesty. He said that they don’t need inefficient and corrupt employees any more. He said that it is welcoming that that due to reforms and legislation the process of change in the government department is in progress. He said that they need 100 per cent results.
The chief minister said that the Agriculture Department is facing several challenges as barren and unutilized land in the province is many fold higher than the cultivable land, which he said through the use of modern technology could be turned into fertile land and orchards.
He said that particularly making the province self-sufficient in wheat production is need of the hour. He said that as compare to the demand of 2.5 million ton the province is producing only 1.2 million ton wheat and this huge difference in the supply and demand in future could create big problems for the province.
The chief minister said that the construction of Cheshma Right Bank Canal (CRBC) in D.I.Khan is their top priority. Similarly, he said RidKohi in southern districts and better irrigation system in other areas to bring fertile but barren land under cultivation is their targets, which could guarantee agricultural revolution and food security in the province.
He said that the provincial government is also concentrating on other sectors of agriculture and beside a initiating a scheme of Rs.500 million in fish farming, fisheries, livestock breeding and dairy farming is being promoted with full attention. On the condition of good results, the department would be provided hefty funds.
For this purpose, he said comprehensive and feasible schemes should be presented. Talking to media on the occasion, the Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said that protecting bordering areas with Afghanistan and FATA is need of the hour while effective measures are being taken for the security of prisons, schools and sensitive installations.
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