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Friday June 21, 2024

US firms to introduce modern technology in agri sector: envoy

By Our Correspondent
June 07, 2024
American Consul General Kristin K Hawkins speaking at an event. — APP/File
American Consul General Kristin K Hawkins speaking at an event. — APP/File

LAHORE:The US private companies are ready to introduce modern technology in the agriculture sector of Punjab. This was stated by American Consul General Kristin K Hawkins during a meeting with Punjab Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Ashiq Hussain here on Thursday.

In the meeting, promotion of mutual cooperation in agriculture and livestock sectors was discussed. Agriculture Secretary Iftikhar Ali Sahoo and Vice-chancellor, Agriculture University Faisalabad Dr Iqar Ahmed, were present.

Kristine K Hawkins said that the American private companies are ready to support in introducing modern technology in the agricultural sector of Punjab and in the production of quality seeds. Scientists will soon visit Agriculture Department, she added. Ashiq Hussain said, ‘We highly valued the American financial aid and assistance in Punjab’s agriculture projects under USAID programme. The Punjab government is focusing on the development of agriculture sector for which vigorous initiatives are being taken. Transforming Punjab Agriculture Programme is being implemented with a huge sum of Rs400billion under which interest-free loans of Rs300 billion will be provided to farmers in two years. Steps are being taken to promote agricultural machinery and convert farmers’ electric tube wells to solar.’ We need assistance from California State to set up a new citrus research and development center, revival of orchards and nurseries in Punjab, he said and endorsed that 60 percent of ‘our agriculture is based on the livestock sector.’ He maintained that the Punjab government’s top focus is on increasing meat exports, increasing milk production and bread improvement.

Secretary Iftikhar Ali said the government’s first priority is agriculture. Punjab has shown a tremendous increase in wheat and rice production per acre this year, he said and added stressed the need for mutual communication and regular dialogue between the Punjab government and California State on the issues of supply of large machinery, seeds, fertilizers and pesticides.