Saturday September 30, 2023

Paddy cultivation target set at 5m acres, says secy

By Our Correspondent
June 08, 2023

LAHORE:Paddy is one of the most important food sources, which besides fulfilling the nutritional needs of the country's population, is also an important source of earning foreign exchange, said Iftikhar Ali Sahoo, provincial secretary agriculture.

This year, the paddy cultivation target has been set at 5 million acres and for achieving this target, all resources are being used, he said while presiding over the first meeting of the Rice Management Group at Civil Secretariat on Wednesday. In the meeting, Additional Secretary Agriculture Task Force, Punjab Muhammad Shabir Ahmed Khan, Director General Agriculture Extension Dr Muhammad Anjum Ali, Chief Scientist Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad Dr Muhammad Akhtar, Director General Agriculture Pest Warning, Punjab Rana Faqir Ahmed, Principal Scientist Rice Research Institute, Kala Shah Kaku, Syed Sultan Ali, Director Agricultural Information, Punjab Muhammad Rafiq Akhtar, Director Agriculture Adaptive Research Mushtaq Ali, Director Agriculture Extension Gujranwala Javed Akhtar and Director Agriculture Extension Gujarat Dr Irfanullah along with the progressive farmers of the rice zone participated.

On the occasion, it was briefed that during last three years, rice cultivated area recorded an increase of 6.7 percent in Punjab province. During FY 2022-23, rice was cultivated on an area of 5.4 million acres and 5.57 million tons of production was obtained. Iftikhar Ali Sahoo said that paddy is an important cash crop.

Under national plan to increase per acre production of rice, a subsidy of Rs1,500 per bag for Basmati varieties and Rs1,000 per bag for non-Basmati varieties is being provided to the registered farmers on the certified seeds of selected varieties during this year.

In addition, Rs30,000 per acre for cultivation in selected districts of Punjab is also being provided. He added that the Punjab government was also providing modern machinery in selected districts to the farmers and service providers for the promotion of mechanised agriculture and making the paddy residue useful by using modern agricultural machinery.

All these incentives are aimed at increasing per acre production of rice. Secretary Agriculture directed to supply standard agricultural inputs in the market during paddy cultivation. He clarified that the licence and agency of dealers selling non-standard agricultural inputs should be cancelled. In the meeting, the secretary also directed to take special measures to increase the export of paddy.