LAHORE - Four provincial departments in Punjab will formulate a joint strategy to make the province self-sufficient in food sector.

 A high-level meeting of four important departments chaired by Senior Punjab Minister Abdul Aleem Khan on Tuesday decided that the departments of Food, Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock should be on same page for which the Secretaries of these four departments would evolve joint strategy.

A working group has been formed which will formulate recommendations for short and long-term policy to make the province self-sufficient in the food sector.

The meeting was attended by Senior Punjab Minister Abdul Aleem Khan, Provincial Agriculture Minister Malik Noman Langarial, Irrigation Minister Sardar Mohsin Ali Leghari, Minister for Consolidation Syed Samsam Ali Bukhari and Minister for Livestock Sardar Hasnain Bahadur Dareshak.

Aleem directed the seed companies in the province to take immediate steps for the provision of wheat and reiterated that the Punjab Food Department would assist the seed companies in supplying wheat to them in addition to its target for procurement of wheat.

Similarly, leniency will be exercised for flour mills so that maximum quantity of wheat can be sold at good prices and on time by the farmers.

Aleem said that despite the seasonal changes, the wheat crop in Punjab has improved by the grace of Allah Almighty and we will not only meet our procurement target soon but also the demand for wheat for the brotherly province of KPK will be achieved.

Aleem told the meeting that a strong campaign has been launched against the hoarders, no concessions will be given to them and the siege against them will be further tightened. He said that like ghost flour mills, it was also important to investigate seed companies so as to discourage such companies who are working for wheat quota only.

Minister for Agriculture Malik Noman Langarial and Minister for Irrigation Sardar Mohsin Leghari appreciated the proposal made by Aleem to improve the working relationship between the four departments.

Similarly, Minister for Consolidation Syed Samsam Ali Bukhari and Minister for Livestock Sardar Hasnain Bahadur Dareshk also welcomed the better coordination among the four departments for the production target of the province. The meeting was also attended by the Secretaries of the four departments, Director Food and MD Punjab Seed Corporation who gave a briefing on their respective departments.