Director Agriculture Information Punjab Muhammad Rafique Akhtar said on two-year performance of the Punjab government on Thursday.

The Punjab government formulated an agriculture policy last year and its implementation had been started. Under the PM’s Agriculture Emergency Programme, over Rs 12 billion were being spent to increase per acre production of wheat, and Rs 8 billion to boost per acre sugarcane yield. Over Rs 5 billion were being spent to increase per acre production of oilseed crops, while more than Rs 28 billion for management of watercourses, he added.

Under these programme, farmers had also been provided modern agricultural machinery worth Rs 300 million on subsidy. Under the National Programme Phase II, 10,000 water channels were being cemented across the province whereas farmers were also being provided 7,500 laser land levelers on subsidy.

He said that 60 per cent subsidy was being provided to farmers on installation of drip and sprinkle irrigation system. Subsidy was also being given on seeds and fertilizers. Crop insurance facility was also being provided to farmers under the Crop Insurance (Takaful) Programme to overcome the losses of cotton, rice, wheat crops due to climate changes, calamities and locust attack.

He added Punjab Agricultural Marketing Regulatory Authority (PAMRA) Act was playing a key role in updating the system of agricultural markets on modern lines.

For controlling locust attack in 24 districts of Punjab, special monitoring had been carried out on over 100 million acres of land whereas modern machinery had been provided to farmers and spray carried out on almost 756,000 acres of land.

During 2019-20, over 100 million tons of wheat crop was obtained while more than 200,000 acres of land had been brought under cultivation of gram crop, which helped in obtaining 430,000 tons of production. It was 53,000 tons more than the previous year. Canola yield was also two times more than the previous year.