PESHAWAR: KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur has directed the authorities of Agriculture Department to collect detailed data of agricultural lands across the province and to take necessary steps for the cultivation of saffron on suitable lands by upcoming season.

He said that saffron crops being grown in neighboring countries should also be evaluated in order to have better production. The chief minister issued these directives while presiding over a meeting of the Agriculture Department here at Chief Minister’s Secretariat on Sunday. Provincial Minister for Agriculture Muhammad Sajjad, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Amjad Ali Khan, Secretary Agriculture Javed Marwat and other relevant officials attended the meeting.

The chief minister urged the authorities to ensure useful utilization of available agriculture land in the province so as to make it an effective source of income for the provincial government. He directed that agriculture department should cultivate itself instead of giving these agricultural lands on contracts. However, he said that farmers should also be encouraged to cultivate saffron in the land suitable for this purpose.

The Chief Minister has directed the relevant authorities to take innovative measures in order to have maximum production with minimum cost, adding that modern farming technology should be introduced and the field of research in agriculture be aligned with contemporary requirements for this purpose.

The Chief Minister further directed them to initiate wild olive grafting program in the merged districts. He underlined the need for the construction of small artificial dams to cultivate vegetables in the districts where there is shortage of water, adding that drip irrigation system can also be introduced in such areas; agricultural activities should be carried out keeping in view the specific climatic conditions and other related aspects of different regions of the province. Self-sufficiency in agricultural production is much needed to control prevailing inflation, he said and added that his government will extend its all-out support to agriculture department for the purpose. He directed the department to take special steps for promoting horticulture and carry out survey for planting suitable fruit trees in every district of the province.

Moreover, he directed them to ensure complete transparency in the donor-assisted projects, set up an effective coordination mechanism between the department of agriculture and other related departments, and to establish different wings under the department with determined role and responsibilities for achieving sustainable goals as per priorities of incumbent provincial government.

Ali Amin Gandapur made it clear that food security is one of the most priority areas of his government; concerted and integrated efforts are needed to ensure speedy implementation of CRBC and other major projects in this sector. The provincial government will extend its all-out support for this purpose, he concluded.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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