December 30, 2014 – BR Report –
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has announced provision of free hybrid seeds of wheat and sale of fertilizer on 50 percent discount for the farming community on the condition that 50 percent of the produce would be sold to the 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 in Peshawar after handing over 17 new bulldozers to the Agriculture Department and inaugurating solar tube-well scheme.
The ceremony was also addressed by KP Minister of Agriculture Ikram Ullah Gandapur and Secretary of Agriculture Muhammad Hamayun Khan who besides highlighting the concrete steps of the provincial government for promotion of agriculture and using latest technology also appreciated vision of the chief minister in this regard.
The function besides KP Assembly Speaker Haji Asad Qaiser, provincial ministers Mian Jamshed Uddin Kakakhel, Amjad Afridi, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture Zarin Zia, Chairman of standing committee Muhammad Jan, PTI Provincial President Azam Swati and General Secretary Khalid Masood was largely attended by farmers community and other people of the area.
Pervez Khattak said that efforts were underway to increase cultivable land and convert more barren land into fertile fields and orchards as well as agricultural engineering wing of the Agriculture Department would be fully strengthened.
He said funds for purchase of more bulldozers were also being increased in the next year budget. Similarly, he said solar irrigation tube-wells were being promoted to enable the farmers community get rid of load shedding and power tariff hike. He said the 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 were brightened all the nights without fear of power failure.
The KP Chief Minister stressed on the authorities of the Agriculture Department for bringing improvement in the performance of the department and introduces new seed, instruments, fertilisers, pesticides and fully includes 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 was neither satisfied in the capacity of the minister nor as farmer in past as 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 farmers and other stakeholders and nor promoted the modern and scientific agricultural techniques rather the whole rural agricultural community was 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 was welcoming that due to reforms and legislation the process of change in the government departments was in progress. He said that they need 100 per cent results.
The Chief Minister said that the Agriculture Department was facing several challenges as barren and unutilised land in the province was 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 was need of the hour. He said that as compare to the demand of 2.5 million tons of wheat the province was producing only 1.2 million ton of wheat and this huge difference in the supply and demand in future could create big problems for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The Chief Minister said the construction of Chashma Right Bank Canal (CRBC) in D I Khan was his top priority. Similarly, he said Rid Kohi in southern districts and better irrigation system in other areas to bring fertile but barren land under cultivation was their targets, which could guarantee agricultural revolution and food security in the KP province.
He said the provincial government was also concentrating on other sectors of agriculture and besides initiating a scheme of Rs500 million in fish farming, fisheries, livestock breeding and dairy farming was 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 persons on the occasion, Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said that protecting bordering areas with Afghanistan and FATA was need of the hour while effective measures were being taken for the security of prisons, schools and sensitive installations.