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75000 smart phones will be given to the farmers : Dr. Ayesha Ghaus

Lahore : Provincial Minister for Finance, Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha has said that 75000 smart phones will be given to the farmers in the first phase under E-Agriculture Credit Scheme which will have already installed basic applications. She said that access to necessary information like receipt and payment of loans under online system, look after of crops, pesticides, protection against seasonal effects and increase in production will be made easy through smart phones. E-Agriculture will become a source of green revolution, she added.

She expressed these views while presiding over 13thmeeting of steering committee of E-Agriculture Credit Scheme at new Minister Block Peoples House.

The Minister said that economy of Punjab depends largely on agriculture that is why provincial government is ready to take all out steps for increasing local production and satisfaction of farmers.

Chief Planning and Evaluation Cell of Agriculture Department Mahmood Akhter Rana, Member Punjab Agriculture Commission, representatives of National Rural Support Programme, Punjab Land Record Authority, National Bank of Pakistan, Agriculture Development Bank, Tameer Bank, NRSP Bank, Akhuwat, State Bank and Bank of Punjab were present on the occasion. Policy Advisor to Agriculture Department Irfan Razzaq while giving briefing to the meeting regarding progress on E Agriculture Credit Scheme informed that rate of recovery of loans being provided to small farmers under the scheme is about hundred percent and Akhuwat Foundation and NRSP are displaying best performance in this regard.

Irfan Razzaq informed the Minister that services of Telenor Communication have been acquired for the provision of smart phones to the farmers. He said that after the approval of conditions and strategy, this scheme will be launched soon.

Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha directed agriculture department to review the problems faced by the farmers regarding acquiring interest free loans though survey in rural areas and ensure registration process effective by removing technical flaws.

She also directed partner banks to ensure timely provision of amounts of loans to the farmers so that their confidence could be increased in the institutions and they could pay full attention to increasing production.

Chief Planning Officer Mahmood Akhter Rana told the Minister that the department is also considering acquiring services of more banks for the provision of loans so that access of farmers to the banks could be made easy.

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