Federal government increases agriculture budget from Rs 1bn to Rs 12bn

ISLAMABAD: Officials documents state that federal government has added 24 new agriculture related projects in federal PSDP and for this purpose, government has kept Rs 10 billion in the upcoming fiscal year.

The last government had allocated Rs 1 billion in the outgoing fiscal year budget for agriculture related projects. The new agricultural budget has been prepared and formulated by close aide of the prime minister Jahangir Khan Tareen, sources informed Pakistan Today.

Officials told that the government has identified schemes in the agriculture sector with focus on productivity enhancement of major crops through efficient irrigation practices, reduction in cost of production by adopting right combination of use of fertilizers and certified high yield seeds.

Also, targeted efforts would be made for enhanced export of agriculture value added projects and reduction in export of raw material, coordinated research and development of command area. The main emphasis is not only to ensure food security for growing population but also bring about prosperity in the lives of rural population in general and small farmers in particular.

“Task force on agriculture has identified projects in consultation with provincial governments and private sector for fast track promotion of this sector by enhancing allocation from Rs 1 billion in 2018-19 to Rs 12 billion during 2019-20”, according to official record.

About 24 new projects under the national food security & research division would be launched in fiscal year 2019-20 with a total allocation of Rs 10.45 billion and remaining Rs 87 billion would spill over the next few years as a throw forward.

Half of these projects – 12 out of 24 – are yet to be approved by any development forum – the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) or the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC).

One of the major projects among them is Rs 56 billion worth of National Programme for Improvement of Water Resources in the country. The project is still unapproved by any technical forum from economic viability aspect but has been allocated an amount of Rs 5.5 billion for next year.

Another Rs 11 billion project – as of yet unapproved – is Enhancing Command Area of small and mini dams has also been given an allocation of Rs 1.1 billion in the first year. Likewise, another major project worth Rs 7.1 billion – Productivity Enhancement of Wheat – has been allocated Rs 650 million next year. Yet another project of Rs 4.2 for National Oilseed Enhancement has been earmarked Rs 400 million for next year.

Another pilot project for development of shrimps farming worth Rs 1.4 billion will be given an amount of Rs 400 million next year. Rs 450 million have been allocated for Rs 4.05 billion worth of Rice Productivity enhancement while Rs 200 million earmarked for Rs 1.2 billion sugarcane enhancement project.

Rs 50 million allocation has been made for Backyard Poultry, Rs 60 million for cage fish culture cluster development, Rs 400 million for conservation and efficient use of water in barani areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Rs 100 million for Calf Feeder Farming.

Likewise, Rs 200 million would be spent next year on Rs 1.5 billion Promotion of Trout Cage Farming in Northern Areas of the country while Rs 200 million being given to Rs 800 million worth of Save the Buffalo Calf Project and Rs 50 million for Better Cotton Initiatives.

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