ISLAMABAD:Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a high level meeting for the development of the Agriculture Sector at Islamabad on Wednesday. The meeting was briefed about the progress made on Food Security Dashboard and Agriculture Transformation Plan. The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Shaukat Fayyaz Tareen, National Security Advisor Dr Moeed Yousuf, SAPMs Dr Shahbaz Gill, Jamshed Iqbal Cheema and concerned officials. Chief Secretaries of all four provinces attended the meeting via video link.

The meeting was informed that the Food Security Dashboard has been made fully functional for wheat. The dashboard contains the demand and supply indicators of wheat at Tehsil, district, division, province and national level. The Dashboard will help ensure effective monitoring of prices, procurement and release, import and export and timely decision making.

In addition, the dashboard will help in taking timely action against those responsible for illegal profiteering by hoarding and artificial price hike of agricultural commodities. Moreover, it will help save the country from future food crises. Relevant Data will be updated in the dashboard on daily basis, which will provide real-time numbers of existing wheat reserves in the country. The meeting was informed that the process of including sugar and other food items to the dashboard after wheat would also be completed soon. Later the meeting was given a detailed briefing on the Agricultural Transformation Plan.

Supply of high quality seeds is being ensured to increase crop yields. In this regard, by changing the rules and regulations for seed companies in the country, only those companies which are capable of providing high quality seeds after research are being registered. Further, under the plan of Asian Development Bank, PC-1 of high breed seed dissemination program in Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has also been approved. Data for the Consumer Sourcing Authenticity System will be completed by December this year to ensure quality seed access to farmers.

The meeting was also briefed on the progress of cooperation with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, which will be completed soon. Cooperation will increase innovation and productivity in the agricultural sector. Significant reduction in the cost per acre of the farmer with modern technology and increase in production will not only make the farmer prosperous but also move the country towards self-sufficiency in food sector.

In addition to above, establishment of 4 Centers of Excellence in Punjab, development of research institutes in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and awareness of agricultural sector innovations among farmers are also part of the project The project also focuses on genetic improvement to increase meat and milk production in cattle. For this, a comprehensive import strategy is being formulated at the government level, which will not only focus on increasing production, but will also ensure an increase in production of local breeds of cattle through protection and research. 9211 emergency service is being introduced for cattle farmers.

It has been revived in Punjab while progress is being made in other provinces. The meeting was also briefed in detail about the progress on olive cultivation and kissan card.