Monday June 24, 2024

Rs400bn agriculture plan under way

By Our Correspondent
May 30, 2024
Farmers plant rice seedlings at paddy fields on the outskirts of Lahore. — AFP/File
Farmers plant rice seedlings at paddy fields on the outskirts of Lahore. — AFP/File

LAHORE:The implementation of the ‘Transforming Punjab Agriculture’ programme with a multi-cost of Rs400 billion is under way.

Under this programme, interest-free agricultural loans are being provided to the farmers, promotion of agricultural machinery and other important measures are being taken. These views were expressed by Punjab Minister for Agriculture Syed Ashiq Hussain Kirmani during a meeting with the World Bank delegation at Agriculture House, here.

On this occasion, World Bank’s Manager for Agriculture Pakistan and India, Mr Oliver Breadth, told Provincial Agriculture & Livestock Minister Syed Ashiq Hussain Kirmani that the World Bank has been working with the Punjab government since 2018 under the Smart Programme. In this regard, the World Bank has taken steps for the development of the agricultural sector, infrastructure and revival of agriculture markets at a cost of 229.750 million dollars. As a result of these initiatives, the Punjab Agriculture Marketing Regulatory Authority (PAMRA) was established and steps were taken to improve agricultural markets.

On this occasion, the minister said that the government was looking for steps to improve agricultural value addition and infrastructure with the support of the World Bank. Apart from this, steps will also be taken to improve livestock with the support of the World Bank as the livestock sector accounts for 60 percent of the total share of the agricultural sector. The minister said that a joint mega programme would be reviewed and submitted to the Provincial Cabinet for approval. On this occasion, Secretary Agriculture, Punjab Iftikhar Ali Sahoo said that mega programme would be reviewed with the support of World Bank for the welfare of small farmers. Steps will be taken to improve the agricultural research and extension sectors with the support of the World Bank. Apart from this, for improving agricultural infrastructure and value addition, the Smart-II programme with the support of the World Bank will be reviewed and approved by the Punjab Cabinet.

Measures taken to prevent Congo virus

Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Ashiq Hussain Kirmani has said preventive measures have been taken to prevent Congo virus.

Addressing a meeting, the minister said Congo virus is a viral disease and many wild and domestic animals are hosts of this virus. He said Livestock Department has established inter-provincial check posts to prevent this disease, adding 18 inter-provincial check posts have been established for anti-tick spray in animals and vehicles. In the meeting, precautionary measures were reviewed for safeguarding livestock from Congo virus in Punjab.

Secretary Livestock and Dairy Development Punjab Masood Anwar, DG (Extension) Dr Asif Salman Sahi and DG (Production) Dr Asif Rafique were also present on this occasion. Director General (Extension) Dr Asif Salman Sahi gave a detailed briefing to the minister on the preventive measures taken by the department regarding the prevention of Congo virus. The minister while addressing the meeting said the transmission of the virus from animal to human and human to human transmission takes place.