Farmers to get free seeds after Eid

Farmers to get free seeds after Eid


QUETTA:

Balochistan Secretary Agriculture, Umaid Ali Khokhar on Friday said that the distribution of free rice seeds and other equipment would start in four districts of Balochistan after Eid.

The secretary noted that the wheat requirement of Balochistan was currently 1.5 million tons while 1.6 million tons of wheat has been produced in the province.

He expressed these views while talking to a group of journalists.

Umaid Ali Khokhar said under the leadership of the provincial government and provincial Agriculture Minister Mir Asad Baloch, the agriculture department was using all available resources for the development of agriculture sector in the province and providing facilities to farmers.

He said due to the flash floods last year, there was a lot of damage to agriculture as gardens, crops, and vegetables were destroyed and the loss was estimated at Rs300 billion.

Balochistan Agriculture Department has launched a campaign for a free supply of wheat seeds in September and October to give relief to the farmers and to get them back on their feet, the secretary informed, adding that despite financial difficulties, arrangements were made for the free supply of wheat seeds for the restoration of agriculture.

He observed that a committee headed by the district administration has been formed in each district for transparent distribution and access to wheat seeds. “Over 381,500 sacks of best wheat seeds worth Rs2.2 billion were procured from Punjab province and distributed free of cost to farmers in 34 districts of the province,” he noted, adding that due to all these steps there has been a record production of wheat in Balochistan this year.

In response to a question, he said that after heavy monsoon rains and floods in 2022, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced a loan of $15 million and a grant of $5 million for Balochistan.

He said that with a grant of $5 million, a plan was made to provide free rice seeds and other agricultural machinery and equipment to the farmers in four districts of Balochistan including Suhbatpur, Jafarabad, Nasirabad and Jhal Magsi.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 15th2023.





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