Lahore: Farmers of the province would be benefitted through the initiatives of Laser Leveling, Drip Irrigation and Water Course Alignments Projects initiated by Chief Minister. This was stated by Provincial Minister for Agriculture, Ahmad Ali while addressing the participants of “Kisan Convention” organized by , Faisalabad in connection with 7-Day Rabi Kisan Festival 2012 in Iqbal Auditorium.
Addressing the convention, Malik Ahmad Ali has said that Punjab Government has allocated maximum resources to boast Agricultural productivity; resultantly maximum record yield was obtained in cotton, wheat, rice and sugarcane crops in the province. Punjab Government been providing 30,000 Green Tractors with the subsidy of 6 billion rupees (2 lac/tractor) with transparent Lucky Draws and same pattern was being adopted to provide agricultural implements on subsidized rates to the small farmers.
Malik Ahmad Ali expressed his deep concerns over 16% general sales tax imposed by the federal government which was creating difficulties for the farmers who had been losing purchasing power day by day. He urged the Federal Government to ask Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to procure cotton from farmers so that they could sell their produce on reasonable prices. He criticized the policies of Federal Government after the implementation of 18th amendment. He demanded that all the committed resources should be transferred to the provinces for the betterment of farming community of respective provinces.
Punjab Agricultural Minister said that provincial government has allocated 100 million rupees for the promotion of research by Punjab Agricultural Research Board (PARB). for the betterment of Agricultural sector. He urged the universities and research organizations of Punjab province to follow the pattern of collaborative approaches being introduced by UAF. He lauded the efforts of Vice Chancellor UAF Dr. Iqrar Ahmad Khan and his team to conduct such programs full of festivities and information. Prof. Dr. Iqrar Ahmad Khan, VC UAF
while presenting the welcome address said that we were draining 240 billion rupees on the import of edible oil which could be minimized by promoting oil seed crops. He urged the scientists to introduce modern technologies and agronomic practices for the promotion of “Brassica” (Brassica Compestress). He added that (Sarson) Brassica had been traditionally cultivated for oil extraction and traditional dish “SAAG” he also emphasized that we can expand the cultivated area of oil seed crops by reducing wheat cultivation spots. FAO representative Mr. Kevin, Dr. Ehsan Ullah Chahl, Dr. Hafeez Sadaqat, Dr. Rasheed Ahmad, National Agricultural Expert Baluchistan, Malik Ijaz Hussain, Mr. Hamid Malhi and others also spoke on the occasion. Later on Minister for Agricultural Punjab, visited Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad and addressed a meeting of agricultural scientists.
He said that fruits of agricultural research must reach the growers for enhancing agricultural productivity. He urged agricultural scientist to interact with farmers particularly with small growers to narrow yield gap between big and small farmers. He said that agricultural research institutes universities, Extension wing of Agricultural Department must arrange farming gatherings so that agriculture technology could be made available to the stake holders at their door steps. Dr. Noor-ul-Islam, Director General Agricultural (Research) told the minister that production technology and varietal characteristics of crop, fruits and vegetables has been uploaded at AARI website for the benefit of the farmers.
He said that through this medium latest technology has been made available at door steps of the farmers. The minister lauded this step of the institute and said that it would go a long way in transferring latest technology to the farmers. The minister also examined bi-products of Post Harvest Research Centre and appreciated quality standard of these products.