Agriculture Transformation Plan to ensure successful future of farmers: Fakhar Imam

Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam chaired the 17th meeting of National Coordination Committee of the Agriculture Transformation Plan in Islamabad. The meeting was convened by Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri and was attended by Secretary National Food Security and Research Mr. Tahir Khursheed. Chief Secretary Punjab, Secretary Agriculture of Punjab, Sindh, KPK and Balochistan and other senior officials of ministry of national food security and research were also in attendance.
Fakhar Imam said that the current government has prioritized the success of the farmer. He said that the Agriculture Transformation Plan is an unprecedented program for the development of the farmers of the country. Fakhar Imam appreciated the fast progress of Punjab with respect to disbursement of funds to the farmers via Kissan Card Scheme. Secretary agriculture Punjab briefed the minister that 780,000 Kissan cards have been distributed so far and the target until 30th June is 1 Mn. 

He further briefed that Rs 4.1 Bn have been so far paid out through the Kissan Card Scheme in Punjab and over 5.5 Mn transactions have been done. Fakhar Imam lauded the Kissan Card Scheme and said that never before such a system was developed where the farmers were given subsidy directly by the government. Agriculture Secretary of KPK said that they have distributed 100,000 cards and have disbursed Rs. 475 Mn. Fakhar was briefed that by the mid of this year almost 50,000 loans will have paid out.
Minister was briefed that almost Rs. 650 Bn has been paid out through Agriculture Credit Facility. Out of the total amount almost Rs. 500 Bn has been paid out in Punjab and Rs. 100 Bn in Sindh. All of these loans are interest free. Fakhar was told that almost 3.4 Mn borrowers have taken advantage of this credit facility.

Imam said that quality of seed is one of the primary factors that decide the productivity of a crop. He said that to improve productivity of crops the quality and provision of high quality seed must be enhanced. He was briefed that the license of almost 200 companies have been cancelled in the last year which is more than the number combined for the last 20 years. Minister appreciated the efforts of MD Punjab Seed Cooperation in providing quality seed to the farmer. He emphasized that the quality of seed is crucial to increasing overall production and productivity of any crop.
Fakhar said that collaboration with Chinese Academy of Agriculture Sciences could be a game changer for Pakistan. He said that we need to exchange expertise on mechanization, new variety development and germplasm. Minister said that China leads the world in agriculture mechanization and Pakistan can catapult its agriculture sector through learning from their knowledge and experience.

Imam said that Agriculture Transformation Plan will revitalize the farmer of the country. He said that the current government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan has put special emphasize on the upgradation of the Agriculture Sector. Fakhar Imam ensured all the participants that necessary steps will be immediately taken to provide any support needed by the provinces.
Earlier, Dr Abid Suleri briefed the minister that in this February the NCC will have completed its one year since its inception. He briefed the participants that NCC will compile and present its one year performance to the Prime Minister Imran Khan in February, 2022.

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