MULTAN (APP): Minister for Agriculture Malik Nouman Ahmad Wednesday said that the provincial government would give subsidy to sunflower growers, who would cultivate a piece of 10-acre land. He said that sunflower cultivation target was set at 210,000 acres of land across the province this year, while 110,571-acre land target was set only for DG Khan division. The minister expressed these views while addressing a seminar on profitable sunflower crop, organised by the Agriculture Department Punjab and ICI Pakistan Limited in Jatoi, district Muzaffagarh, on Wednesday. He said that Pakistan spent about Rs 300 billion for import of edible oil per year. He maintained that they were producing only 12pc edible oil of its total needs, and importing 88 per cent from other countries. He said that the Punjab government was offering Rs 5,000 per acre subsidy over cultivation of sunflower. He announced that the provincial government, in collaboration with All Pakistan Solvent Extractors Association, would set up centres at regional level to ensure procurement of sunflower crop timely.

He said that agriculture sector's progress was on top in Punjab government's priorities. He said that the government was utilising all possible resources for welfare of growers. He said that they were taking various initiatives to decrease the cost of production.

He said that country's progress was interlinked with grower's progress and prosperity. He urged growers to adopt the latest production technology for better sunflower yielding.

Advisor to CM Punjab on Agriculture Abdul Haye Dasti, Chairman Municipal Corporation Muhammad Umar Khan Gopang and others were also present.