PESHAWAR - Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Amir Haider Khan Hoti has formally launched Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mechanized Farming Project/Agriculture Policy at Tarnab Farm on Monday.

He said that this project and the agriculture policy will prove the harbinger of progress for the active government functionaries, financial improvement of farmers and progress in agriculture production. He said that the project will make available modern technology, environment and facilities to enable farmers to yield more production from their limited areas.

Provincial Agriculture Minister Arbab Muhammad Ayub Jan, Provincial Minister for Animal Husbandry Haji Hidayat Ullah, MPA Saqib Chamkani, Administrative Secretaries of Agriculture, Livestock and Fishery Departments, Vice Chancellor Agriculture University, faculty members, agriculturists, scientists and farmers were also present on the occasion.

The CM said that increase in responsibilities of government in agriculture sector due to the 18th Amendment the agriculture policy congruent to modern needs was direly required. He said that 10-year agriculture policy with the assistance of FAO has been prepared to ensure self-sufficiency in agriculture. He said that implementation on the policy has commenced and added under the policy worth Rs 500 million, farmers will be provided with modern technology at subsidized rates in addition to other benefits and facilities.

He said that resources will be provided to the Model Farms Services Center in the form of endowment fund. He said that the province has the lead in preparing the agriculture policy at national and provincial level under which guidance will be provided to agriculture sector for the coming 10 years.

Hoti said that agriculture is the backbone for the provincial economy. He said that the present government has allocated Rs 2 billion to agriculture for achieving self-sufficiency in agriculture this year but the previous government has allocated Rs.322 million.

The chief minister said that the province was confronting difficulties and challenges, however, the province is bestowed with opportunities in different sectors including education, hydel power, oil and gas and agriculture sectors.

He said that the present government was committed for removal of darkness of ignorance through light of knowledge, and added, the establishment of eight universities, scholarships for intelligent students, financial assistance to students of far flung areas through public private partnership, financial assistance to families for girls education in Torghar and Kohestan and other programmes reflect this commitment of the government.

He said that future of the province was linked to investment in hydel power, oil and gas and agriculture. He approved construction of a road from GT Road to Tarnab Farm and issued directives to concerned authorities in this connection.

He also issued directives to the concerned authorities on demand of agriculture and livestock departments and said that he will not make a promise that he can’t fulfil. He said that politics can be practiced on hollow claims but he termed it infidelity. The CM distributed endowment funds cheques among representatives of different farms services centres and awarded honorary certificates to prominent agriculture scientists and officers and personnel of livestock and agriculture departments.

Secretary Agriculture Department, Muhammad Afsar Khan, presented the welcome address, while Project Manager FAO David Dolan threw detailed light on crux of agriculture policy. Provincial Ministers Arbab Muahammad Ayub Jan and Haji Hidayat Ullah Khan also addressed the gathering.

Earlier, the CM launched mechanized farming project by cutting the ribbon. He inspected the modern agriculture machinery and exhibition. He visited stalls of different and rare vegetables, fruits and honey.