WB to assist Punjab for agri development

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Salim Ahmed

Lahore—Punjab government and World Bank have signed an agreement of cooperation regarding development of agriculture, stability of agri economy and best usage of water resources in the province.
The Punjab Chief Minister, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif the ceremony. Secretary Agriculture Capt. (R) Muhammad Mehmood on behalf of Punjab government Country Director of World Bank in Pakistan Patchamuthu Illangovan signed the agreement.
According to the agreement, World Bank will provide technical assistance to Punjab government for promoting agriculture, increasing per acre yield, stabilizing agri economy and using water resources in better way in the province. World Bank will also extend cooperation regarding implementation of modern technology for promoting agriculture on lasting basis.
Addressing the signing ceremony, the Chief Minister said that agreement between Punjab government and World Bank augurs well and agri-economy and prosperity of villages will be promoted through its implementation.
He said that the agreement signed with World Bank is a milestone in the development of agriculture sector. He said that World Bank will cooperate in introducing successful models of the world especially Brazil for development of agriculture sector in Punjab. He said that agriculture sector of Pakistan especially Punjab had proved its metal in the world but now unfortunately, it has declined for the last years, however, today’s agreement signed with World Bank will supplement government efforts for developing agri sector and bringing prosperity in rural areas. The Chief Minister said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, full attention is being paid to agriculture. He said that federal and Punjab government have given packages of billions of rupees for the prosperity of cultivators and relief has been provided to them especially small farmers through these packages.
He said that the country will become prosperous with the prosperity of farmers. Kisan Packages of billions of rupees have been announced for this purpose, he added. He said that agri sector will be set on modern lines for the uplift of agri economy and prosperity of farmers. He said that besides use of agri machinery and implements, scientific techniques will have to be implemented for increasing agri production. Shehbaz Sharif said that proper use of fertilizer and water will also play an important role in the development of agriculture sector. He said that World Bank is an important partner in the progress and prosperity of Pakistan and cooperation of World Bank in the uplift of agri sector is welcomed. He said that concerned minister, secretary and institutions should come forward and accept the challenge for the stability of agri sector.
A joint steering committee headed by Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif was constituted for implementing roadmap of agreement. This committee will determine the roadmap and implement speedily. Speaking on the occasion, Country Director of World Bank said that timeline will be settled within six weeks for implementing the programme.
He said that there is a great potential in agriculture sector in Punjab and added that joint efforts will be made with Punjab government for utilizing this potential. Provincial Ministers Yawar Zaman, Dr. Farrukh Javed, Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Chief Secretary, Chairman Planning & Development, Senior Director of World Bank for Agriculture Juergen Voegele and other senior officers were present on the occasion.