Staff Reporter Rawalpindi
Punjab Agriculture Minister Syed Hussain Jahanian Gardezi participated in a conference here organized to highlight the importance of agricultural stability in ensuring food security in Pakistan collaboration with Agriculture University Multan, Hanns Seidle Foundation Pakistan and Center for Global and Strategic Studies.
The government is pursuing technical and fi-nancial assistance schemes for farmers to ensure food security and achieve production targets, he said.
Increasing agricultural production per acre to meet the nutritional needs of a growing population is a matter of urgency, he expressed these views at a local hotel in Islamabad. Federal Minister for National Food and Security Syed Fakhar Imam also attended the conference.
The provincial agriculture minister said that the present government had provided interest free loans of Rs. 45 billion in the last three years to ensure food security and increase production per acre so that farmers could purchase agricultural inputs in a timely manner.
In addition, a subsidy of Rs. 4.40 billion has been provided to farmers for the supply of certified seeds and modern agricultural machinery.
The pre-sent government has taken effective measures to ensure better prices of agricultural commodities to the farmers and last year a support price of Rs 1,800 per kg for wheat and Rs 200 per 40 kg for sugarcane has been ensured.
The process of registration of 146 new markets has been completed under Punjab Agricultural Mar-keting Regulatory Authority (PAMRA) to increase the income and profit of farmers while farmer plat-form has been set up in 105 agricultural markets of the province on the direction of Chief Minister Punjab.