Govt to provide subsidy on seeds, fertilizers for farmers of flood hit areas

Govt to provide subsidy on seeds, fertilizers for farmers of flood hit areas
Govt to provide subsidy on seeds, fertilizers for farmers of flood hit areas

ISLAMABAD, Sep 22 (APP): Minister for National Food Security and Research Tariq Bashir Cheema Thursday said that government would provide subsidize seeds and fertilizers to support the flood affected farmers of the country during upcoming Rabi season.

While talking to a delegation led by Regional Director for Sustainable Development South Asia of World Bank John A Roome, the minister said that government will provide subsidized inputs to flood affected farmers for the upcoming Rabi season on a cost-sharing basis with the provinces, adding that the proposed scheme of subsidy would be presented in the meeting of Federal Cabinet for approval.

During the meeting both sides discussed the rehabilitation and relief efforts in the floods and rains affected areas with special emphasis to farmer community and food security.

He further informed that government was planning to provide subsidized wheat and edible oil seeds, and one fertilizer bag per acre to farmers in the calamity hit areas.

The disbursement will be made through provincial governments and NDMA, which would help to rehabilitate and revive local agriculture sector.

Tariq Bashir said that flood and rains have played havoc on the agriculture sector and have devastated the agriculture land, adding that at this critical time, we are focusing on rehabilitation activities in the flood affected areas to  bring the life back on its normal position.

During this national emergency, federal government was supporting agriculture departments of the provinces in every possible means, he added.

Speaking on the occasion John A Roome said that the World Bank will help Pakistan, in this time of need, through projects targeted to rehabilitate the affected community.

He agreed to support rehabilitation of the farming community in flood hit districts and locust effected areas through the Locust Emergency and Food Security (LEAFS) project of the World Bank. He said that the World Bank was working with provincial agriculture departments to support the farming community.

John A Roome said that he will also request the Bank’s Board to increase support for Pakistan to recover from the devastation caused by unprecedented floods.

In another meeting, Federal Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema directed Department of Plant Protection (DPP) to prepare a comprehensive plan to deliver the seeds and fertilizer to the flood affected regions by the end of this month.

He also approved the request of the department to recruit technical staff for surveillance of locust outbreak and diseases.

Tariq Bashir Cheema feared that the recent flood and rains have increased the chances of a locust attack. He directed to rigorously inspect breeding and swarming areas to take remedial action.

“The recruitment of surveillance staff and procurement of vehicles will enhance the capacity of the department to immediately respond to any unwarranted situation,” said Director General Department of Plant Protection Allah Ditta Abid.