PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan on Wednesday termed the progress made so far on the ongoing initiatives under Agriculture Transformation Plan as satisfactory and directed the authorities concerned to ensure launching of Kisan Card under Digital Subsidy Mechanism within the next two months.
He said that Agriculture Transformation Plan would prove to be a revolutionary step towards development of agriculture sector adding that provincial government is going all out to achieve the goals set under the plan in line with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan. “Sustainable Development of agriculture sector, facilitating the farmers and food security were amongst priority areas of provincial government; all the available resources are being utilized for the purpose under well devised strategy”, he added.
He was chairing a meeting held here the other day to review progress so far made on Agriculture Transformation Plan. Provincial Minister for agriculture Mohibullah Khan, Chief Secretary Dr Kazim Niaz, Additional Chief Secretary Shahab Ali Shah, Senior Member Board of Revenue Syed Zafar Ali Shah, Secretary Agriculture Muhammad Israr and other concerned high ups attended the meeting.
Briefing about the latest progress made on the various interventions under the plan, the forum was informed that under the intervention for quality seed dissemination amongst farmers, procurement of seed was in progress. Initially 10,000 to 12,000 metric ton wheat seed would be procured and provided to farmers. Highlighting the proactive approach of the provincial government in agriculture sector, it was informed that Tele-Farming and e-Agriculture system of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for ICT based extension services were already operational whereas Model Farm Services Centres have been established across the province.
Farmers are being facilitated through one Window operation facility in the aforesaid Model Farm Services Centres whereas Farmer Tele Facilitation Centre (call centre) has been setup under Tele-farming and e-Agriculture system. Besides web portal, mobile application (agriculture extension), Management Information System (MIS) and Agri-Info (SMS) service are the important features of the system.
They informed that a pilot based system of ICT based extension services has been launched in Swabi in collaboration with private partner and same model would be upscaled on soil fertility based extension services to other districts. Similarly, the participants were apprised that under the Digital Subsidy Mechanism, preparations were under process for launching Kisan Card adding that under KP Irrigated agriculture project, in the first phase 150 moisture meters would be installed. In order to improve Post-Harvest Storage, provincial sales tax on services for warehouse operators is being reduced from 16% to 1% which would be added in Finance Bill.
The forum was further informed that Agriculture Research Institutes Tarnab and Mingora would be upgraded and an Act to this effect has been submitted for the review of law department and the same after clearance would be submitted for the approval of provincial cabinet. Similarly, under the intervention “Genetic Improvement of Cattle” a PC-1 is in progress to develop proposed digital extension service model.
It was further informed that consent of the provincial government for the projects pertaining to five year Agriculture Transformation Plan was solicited and the detailed PC-1 would also be submitted to concerned quarter for further processing.
The Chief Minister expressed his satisfaction over the progress made so far on agriculture transformation plan in the province adding that agriculture sector has the key role in the national economy. That’s why he said that incumbent government has the special focus on the development of this sector. “Provincial government is fully committed to play its leading role in implementing the said plan and taking visible steps to this effect”, he concluded.