DI KHAN, Sep 23 (APP): Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Food Security, Jamshed Iqbal Cheema here Thursday said about two lac acres barren land has been made cultivable in southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including DI Khan due to construction of mega Gomal Zam Dam (GZD).
Addressing farmers convention here graced by the Prime Minister Imran Khan as chief guest, Jamshed Cheema said GZD was a landmark project that has brought green and white revolution in southern districts of Khyber Pakthunkhwa including DI Khan.
He said PTI government had invested Rs20 billion out of total Rs26 billion GZD project, which ensured speedy construction of its command areas and subsequently laid network of watercourses and canals by extracting its water for irrigation purposes in southern districts including DI Khan.
“When I came to DI Khan in March 2012, I found barren lands everywhere in this remote district of KP,” he said, adding the situation on ground had been completely changed when I visited DI Khan two months ago and was very happy to see lush green lands with agriculture crops everywhere courtesy to the PTI Govt’s growth oriented and agriculture friendly policies,” he said.
He said 200,000 acres barren land have been made cultivable in DI Khan and others southern districts of KP which means that Rs20 billion could be generated only from agriculture and 18megawatt affordable electricity in one year.
Focus are being made on food processing in agriculture sector to counter challenges related to food security, he said, adding the Government would help encourage food processing in merged areas to explore and take full advantage of its fruits and agriculture wealth.
The PM’s special assistant said DI Khan, Mianwali and Bhakkar districts were going to become a hub of agriculture goods including fruits and vegetables to cater needs of every growing population including Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
Agriculture sector had achieved tremendous growth in the country where rice and maize production increased each by over 18pc, cotton by 50 and a record 100MT sugar were produced recently, adding that Rs 12,00 billion value addition were also achieved directly benefiting farmers and agriculture growers.
Jamshed Cheema said the government has made top focus on eradication of hunger and malnutrition and decided to bring maximum areas under agriculture net. In modern era, he said, China and Brazil had eradicated hunger and Pakistan under leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan would be the third country to wipe out hunger in near future.
He said the government was promoting agriculture research and inauguration of Pakistan Agriculture Research Stations at DI Khan would bolster agricultural productivity and per acres production besides expand research on seeds and others items.
Cheema said Pakistan was moving to achieve authority in food and urged farmers to take full advantages of the Govt projects, adding Kissan Cards would help low income farmers to get maximum production of wheat and others crops from their lands and contribute in development of the country.