SIALKOT: Punjab government has evolved a plan for the promotion of agriculture and to improve the financial condition of farmers across the province.
According to the agriculture department sources on Wednesday, Punjab government would provide interest-free loans to the tune of Rs 80 billion to the farmers.
The process of registration of farmers had been initiated in Sialkot, Daska, Pasrur and Sambrial. Under the plan, farmers having 12.50 acres of land would be given interest-free loans, while farmers having five acres of land would be given interest-free loan on top priority basis in Punjab.
In addition, the government under the plan would also provide smartphones at inexpensive prices to enable the farmers get weather information, technical assistance, market rates and the details of fertilizers and seed sellers easily.
Besides, the facility of insurance of crops would be provided to the farmers, while technical assistance would also be provided to the farmers at each tehsil headquarter of the Punjab, sources added.
Meanwhile, the Punjab government has chalked out a plan for the promotion of olive crop in the province. Official sources disclosed on Wednesday that under the plan, special attention would be accorded to scientific cultivation of olive crop for better results.
Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat, Jhelum, Rawalpindi, Attock, Chakwal and Khushab districts were the potential areas for olive cultivation. Olive orchard cultivation throughout these potential areas of Punjab could produce much quantity of oil, which may certainly bring Pakistan’s olive oil import share to zero.
The prevailing environment, minimum/maximum temperature, soil types, average rainfall and other related growth factors in Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat, Jhelum, Rawalpindi, Attock, Chakwal and Khushab areas were exactly according to olive cultivation requirements. The marginal lands could be utilided for olive cultivation without replacing the other crops and it would help reduce the import bill of the country, the sources added.
Moreover, the Punjab Agriculture Department was conducting awareness and training programmes to facilitate the people by educating them on olive cultivation techniques. According to available information, the overall demand of olive oil was over 1.9 million tonnes of which 1.3 million tonnes were being imported from various countries for catering domestic needs and requirements costing billion of rupees every year.
Source: Daily Times