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LAHORE: The Punjab government will disburse interest-free agricultural loans to the farmers worth Rs150 billion under the transforming Punjab’s agriculture program, besides the provision of the latest 25,000 agricultural implements and modern machinery of Rs12 billion.

The government aims to benefit 90 per cent of the small farmers under this scheme as per the vision of Chief Minister Punjab.

Punjab Agriculture Minister Syed Ashiq Hussain Kirmani while speaking at a consultative session at the agriculture house on Monday said that the agriculture department and the private sector should jointly provide technical guidance to the farmers so that they can increase their agricultural production by using modern machinery.

He further said that Pak seeders and rice straw shredders are being provided to the farmers at a cost of 8 billion rupees under the smog control program. The use of this modern machinery will reduce the post-harvest losses suffered by the paddy farmers and also help in controlling smog.

He further said that the State Bank of Pakistan is providing loan on imported machinery at 7% markup. There is a need to increase the credit limit for farmers and service providers so that development of agricultural machinery is possible.

He said that the private sector will be encouraged to import agricultural machinery so that the private sector can play a positive role in providing agricultural machinery to the service providers.

Secretary Agriculture, Punjab Iftikhar Ali Sahoo said that Punjab is facing major challenges for the promotion of agricultural mechanization. He said that today’s consultation meeting includes all the stakeholders. With their actionable suggestions and advice, we will take practical steps to promote agricultural mechanization and the private sector will be encouraged.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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