–Buzdar announces project worth Rs300 billion for farmers’ welfare under the Prime Minister’s Agriculture Emergency Programme
—1.19 million bags of wheat flour being supplied to poor on daily basis, says CM
RAJANPUR: Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Sardar Usman Buzdar on Thursday inaugurated the wheat harvest campaign at a village in Rojhan tehsil and pledged to protect every single grain of wheat and financial interests of farmers.
Punjab agriculture minister Malik Nauman Khan Langarial, Punjab livestock minister Sardar Husnain Bahadur Dareshak, besides MNAs, MPAs and officials were present on occasion. The event was held amid full observance of social distancing and other measures meant for prevention of novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
According to the details, exactly 4.5 million metric tonnes of wheat would be procured during the ongoing procurement drive while farmers would be paid at the rate of Rs1,400 per maund.
It may be noted here that Punjab expects 19 million metric tonnes of wheat production from an area of 16.5 million acres.
The chief minister also said that the compulsion of ‘Girdawri’ has been withdrawn for the procurement drive and ministers have been assigned districts to monitor the process. “15 inter-provincial routes are also being monitored,” he said.
Emphasising that farmers were the backbone of the economy, Buzadar vowed to protect their interests at all costs and announced that a project worth Rs300 billion was being introduced in Punjab for farmers’ welfare under the Prime Minister’s Agriculture Emergency Programme.
Buzdar also disclosed that a project worth Rs12.5 billion has been launched to enhance per acre production of wheat.
He further said that 400,000 bags of certified wheat seed were provided to farmers at a subsidised price this year and announced to increase the number of seed bags to 1.2 million, a 200 per cent increase, in the next wheat crop season.
Similarly, crop insurance scheme’s scope has been widened and 250,000 farmers’ crops have been brought under its ambit.
The Punjab CM laid emphasis on measures to reduce the cost of production for farmers well being and added that 5.2 million farmers benefited from Rs8.5 billion a subsidy on fertilisers.
He said that 10,000 water courses were being lined under a Rs28 billion initiative.
He said that provincial government has so far introduced 80 new varieties of fruit, vegetables and other crops.
Unlike the past, a complaint management system has been introduced in Punjab to process complaints properly and punish those involved in dealing with fake fertilisers and pesticides.
“Rs15 billion worth interest-free loans were extended to farmers under e-credit scheme to expand agriculture base and improve the farming community’s financial standing,” he said, adding that a mechanised farming like an application of combined harvester not only save time but also cost.
Secretary food Waqas Ali informed the CM that over 650,000 metric ton wheat would be procured in DG Khan division.
He added that 29,800 metric tonnes of wheat were being provided daily to meet food requirements in the province., adding that 1.19 million bags of wheat flour were being provided so that people do not face trouble in purchasing Atta.
It is pertinent to mention here that wheat purchase has been prohibited without food grain license and people are not allowed to purchase more than 1,000 kilogrammes for personal use.