PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on Wednesday approved the first-ever food security policy for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, consisting of short, medium and long terms planning.
Final draft of the policy was presented to the chief minister in a meeting here on Wednesday. Agreeing to the draft of the policy, the chief minister approved the policy in principle.
He directed the authorities concerned to present the draft policy in the upcoming meeting of provincial cabinet for final approval, according to a statement.
Similarly, the chief minister also accorded approval to the proposed action plan to ensure implementation of the policy in letter and spirit. Besides others, senior member board of revenue and administrative secretaries of all the relevant departments attended the meeting.
The meeting was told that the policy was aimed at attaining sustainable food security, poverty alleviation and generating employment opportunities through achieving higher sustainable economic growth in the province. Short term, medium term and long term plans have been devised to ensure implementation of the policy.
CM directs planning dept to arrange funding for enforcement of action plan
The short term plan would be of two to three years duration that will require around Rs56 billion and medium term plan would be of four to seven years with an estimated cost of Rs109 billion whereas the long term plan would be of eight to 10 years to be implemented with an estimated cost Rs70 billion.
Under the short term plan, 19 different initiatives have been proposed to increase agricultural products in the province. Similarly, 24 different measures including construction of small dams, raising of the existing dams, development of maximum command areas of these dams and others have been proposed under the medium term plan whereas nine different measures including construction of big dams, cultivation of olive plants at vast scale and others have been proposed under the long term plan of the policy.
Regarding the estimated impacts of these plans, the meeting was informed that implementation of the short term plan would generate an additional income of Rs21 billion per annum. The medium term plan would generate an additional income of Rs18 billion per annum whereas the long term plan, on execution, would generate an income of Rs22 billion.
The policy clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of agriculture, irrigation and other allied departments with regard to achieve its goal.
It encompasses all the allied sectors of agriculture including food grain, fruits, vegetables, livestock and dairy products, fisheries, oil seeds and others. The policy provides a comprehensive strategy for increasing these products.
The policy also stresses the need for modern research in the field of agriculture and suggests measures to develop linkages among the government, academia, private sector and partner organisations. Similarly, the policy proposes establishment of agri-business development authority in the province.
Stressing the need for implementing the policy in letter and spirit, the chief minister directed the planning department to arrange the required funding for the implementation of the action plan.
He also directed the agriculture department to enhance its working capacity to get the action plan implemented. Similarly, he ordered the irrigation department to devise a plan along with timelines within two weeks for progress on dam construction projects.
Published in Dawn, December 24th, 2020