Jul 28, 2020: The Ministry of National Food Security and Research has transferred an amount of Rs5,369.53 million to provinces and regions during the fiscal year 2019-20 under Prime Minister National Agricultural Emergency Program for development of agriculture and livestock sectors in the country.
Despite the financial constraints, the incumbent government had put the agriculture sector on its top priority agenda and enhanced agriculture spending from Rs 1 billion to over Rs12,000 million, said Senior Joint Secretary and Spokesman of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research Dr Javed Hammayun.
While talking to APP here on Tuesday, he said that 13 projects were identified under agriculture emergency program in crop sector, livestock,water conservation, fisheries and livestock sectors to enhance the productivity and farm income all across the country.
He informed that total worth of these projects were estimated at Rs 277.336 billion with federal share of Rs 81.76 billion that would be spent during 5 years.
He said that so far federal government had provided Rs 5,369.53 million for these 13 projects, besides providing Rs321.21 million for project management units to enhance crop, water, livestock and fishries productivity for increasing income of small land holders.
While giving the breakup of these transfers, the spokesman said that for enhancing the per-acre crop output an amount of Rs445.06 million was transferred to provinces for enhancing wheat output, Rs199 million for productivity enhancement of rice and Rs48 million for sugarcane production.
In order to reduce the reliance on the imported edible oil, he said that Rs139 million was transferred to provinces for National Oil Seed Enhancement Programme, adding that an amount of Rs3,990 million was provided for National Programme for the Improvement of Water Courses in Pakistan Phase-Il.
Pakistan was ranked among the most water stressed countries of the world and incumbent government was keen to conserve water resources, he said adding that the above mentioned amount was used for the construction and maintenance of water Courses.
The spokesman further said that in order to exploit the aquaculture potential in the country, government had identified areas for shrimp farming cluster development and trout farming in north areas and provided Rs112.56 million.
For the development of livestock sector, he said that Rs135.31 million was transferred under Prime Minister Initiative for save the calf and Rs 93.4 million for calf feedlot fattening program , he added.
Besides, in wake of COVID-19 Pandemic, the government had also announced fiscal relief package of over Rs50 billion for farmers in order to provide them agriculture inputs on subsidized rate.
Javed Hammayun informed that the government has approved an amount of Rs6.861 billion under Agriculture Fiscal Package in order to provide financial relief in terms of markup subsidy on bank’s loans to the most deserving sub segment of farming community.
An amount of Rs1.5 billion Sales Tax subsidy on locally manufactured tractors was also approved in order to promote mechanization in agriculture sector to enhance per-acre crop output in the country, he remarked.
The spokesman further informed that during current fiecal the government had allocated Rs 12,000 million in its Public Sector Development Program, adding that Rs1,250 million was allocated for 12 new schemes 10,750 million for the completion of 24 on going projects.
In order to enhance cotton production, the government had also announced subsidised import of pink bollwarm rope to overcome the pest attack which destroyed standing crop over vast areas.
The intervention would help to reduce the pest attack and sustainable cotton crop growth, he added.