PESHAWAR – The Khyber Pakthunkhwa Agriculture Department has unveiled a mega agriculture package worth Rs17.573 billion to facilitate farmers, beekeepers and horticulturists of the province.
The package was okayed under the 100-day ambition plan of PTI govt as per vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan to improve socio-economic of people associated with agriculture sector.
The package entitled, “Incentives plan for agriculture sector KP,” has been drafted by Agriculture Extension Wing of KP Agriculture Department which received applause by the Prime Minister Imran Khan when unfolded under his chair here few days back.
Dr Murad Ali, Deputy Director Planning Agriculture Extension KP told APP on Sunday that the main components of the mega package to be covered under the plan over a period of next five years included incentive plans for cereals, horticulturists, sugarcane growers, agri extension activities,agriculture marketing produce, addition in fruits vegetable and processing. Referring to incentives made available for cereals, Dr Murad said it is the main important source of nutrition in Pakistan as wheat and rice are staple commodities in the daily food consumption.
To address their problems, various activities have been proposed which will not only improve socio-economic conditions of farmers but would also improve food security situation and will be having positive impact on the country’s economy. Total incentives offered in the cereals sector amounting to Rs4.6 billion will benefiting more than 6,00,000 farmers.
About horticulture sector, Dr Murad told APP that KP is blessed with variety of climates suitable for cultivation of many vegetables and fruits including citrus, apple, peach, plum, apricots, dates, cucumbers,onions, cauliflowers, cabbage, chilies, pumpkins etc.
According to 2015 statistics, fruits are sown on areas of 38357 hectares having production of 335986 tons and similarly vegetables growing on area of 34810 hectares with a production of 384694 tons.
The package incentive plan will benefit 66000 farmers for which 5.34 billion have been allocated for fruits and vegetables growers. The senior agriculture officer said farmers associated with sugarcane will be provided Rs100.750 million incentives under the plan which will benefit around 10500 farmers in the province.
He said sugarcane is one of the major cash crop of the province as in 2015-16, it was sown in area of 11586 hectares having production of 5472889 tons. Under the plan, sugarcane growers will be provided incentives in the shape of nurseries kids and machinery. Extension activities to be carried out under the plan included arranging 56 number of Kisan melas at divisional level, four provincial kisan melas and 400 field days.
The plan has also addressed the marketing issues of the agriculture produce in the province, he said adding, various set of activities have been proposed under this mega incentive plans included construction of nine markets, registration of all major and minor agriculture markets, capacity building of farmers, stakeholders and dissemination of market information to the farmers through ICT.
Around 30,000 small and poor farmers would be facilitated and benefited by providing small and invocate machinery and equipment, he added.
He said value addition in fruits, vegetables and processing is also part of the 100 days plan under which 12000 number of farmers will be distributed at a cost of Rs4.30 billion.
Similarly, under honey beekeeping and processing a total of 3000 farmers will benefit at a cost of Rs225 million.