ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday vowed to give priority to the agriculture sector in the forthcoming budget by offering incentives to growers to improve production and rural economy.
“The government will improve rural economy through value addition of agri-production,” the prime minister said while chairing a meeting that discussed budget proposals about the agriculture sector.
Mr Sharif reminded the huddle that agriculture sector is the backbone of economy and the country’s progress is not possible without innovations.
“Due to the incumbent government’s Kissan package, record wheat yield has been achieved in the current season,” the PM Office quoted him as stating at the meeting.
The meeting was informed that the best support prices of different crops led to prosperity of farmers which would also help boost the upcoming crops.
The government would ensure provision of timely loans to farmers on easy terms, the PM said.
Mr Sharif ordered for direct provision of subsidy to farmers on fertilisers. He said resources would be allocated in the budget for provision of quality seeds, latest machinery, agriculture research, etc.
He said practical steps should be suggested in the budget for conversion of agriculture tube wells into solar energy.
The prime minister was also informed about the international quality seeds, import of semen for animal breeding, functioning of agriculture institutions and implementation of the Kissan package.
The meeting discussed the National Oil Seed Policy whose objective was to reduce dependence on import of edible oil by provision of quality seed. Automatic Seed Certification and Track and Trace System was being introduced for provision of quality seed, it was informed.
Describing the proposals as very useful, the PM directed his Adviser Ahad Khan Cheema to form two sub-committees to give a final shape to the budget proposals regarding the agriculture sector.
These committees were tasked with giving concrete shape to innovations in this sector, mechanisation, provision of quality seeds, direct provision of subsidy to farmers on fertilisers, solarisation of tube wells and policy measures.
The meeting was attended by federal ministers Ishaq Dar, Rana Sanaullah, Tariq Bashir Cheema, Ahsan Iqbal, Khurram Dastagir, Makhdoom Murtaza Mahmood and Ahad Cheema, Minister of State Dr Musadik Malik and Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, PM’s Special Assistants Tariq Bajwa, Jehanzaib Khan, Tariq Pasha, the SBP governor, the chairman of FBR and other officials. Prominent experts and farmers in modern agriculture also attended the meeting.
Published in Dawn, June 1st, 2023