Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the present government, for the very first time in country’s history, had chalked out a comprehensive agricultural transformation plan and was implementing it on priority basis. Mechanization of agriculture sector, provision of quality seed, efficient water management system and assistance in livestock farming were transforming the agriculture sector into a high yielding economic entity, he added.

The Prime Minister was chairing a meeting on

priority sectors to review progress on the implementation of Agricultural Transformation Plan (ATP) and Special Economic Zones (SEZs). He said that with the introduction of Kissan card, subsidy on fertilizer and genetic improvement of livestock, the government was aiming to achieve even higher yields as compared to the record yield achieved last year.

During the review-meeting on Agriculture Transformation Plan, it was informed that for dissemination of quality seed to increase the average yield and quality of the produce, relevant approvals have been made and fund release was in process.

For the genetic improvement of livestock, import of quality semen was proposed and the process was expedited and given high priority. Moreover in order to assist the livestock farmers, 9211 helpline has been revived in Punjab while it was near to completion in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and and Balochistan.

The meeting was also informed that the project for mechanization of farming was near to completion whereby distribution of machinery to the farmers will start soon. This will help not only to increase the yield, but will also help cut the farming costs. In addition to the above, the development of a comprehensive and well managed Information and Communication Technology (ICT) system for agriculture sector, including extension services to assist farmers will also be launched in the first quarter of the coming year. During the meeting, a comprehensive update was also given about institutional reforms regarding research institutes whereby 65% of the proposed interventions have already been implemented with a special focus on cotton research institute.

Centers of Excellence regarding agricultural research were soon being launched in Punjab and other provinces with a focused approach on high yielding crops and the crops that will substantially reduce dependence on imports.