ISLAMABAD    -   Balochistan government, in a bid to boost the agriculture sector, has initiated multi-dimensional projects which would help to make this provincial sector profitable.

Talking to APP, Spokesperson of the Balochistan government Liaquat Shahwani Wednesday said the government would establish various joint fruits and vegetables processing laboratories and plants at Kila Saifullah, Naseerabad, Gwadar, Loralai and other districts.

He said the government had allocated around Rs 400 million for the project. The specific project objectives were to reduce the post-harvest losses by increasing shelf life of fruits and vegetables.

He said the government had also been working to improve the road communication system to provide easy access to the farmers from fields to market which would help them to increase their income.

He said the province had been producing million of tones fruits annually but the farmers could not get appropriate output due to lack of proper processing facilities. The provincial government had been making strategy to introduce the fruits in the international markets.

The spokesperson said the efficient management of fruits and vegetables would enable the farmers to produce and conserve the commodities for a long duration. He said the government was working in collaboration with the federal government to build more small dams with a cost of Rs 5 billion which would help improve the underground water level.

Shahwani said the government had expedited the work on the expansion of Kachhi and Patfeeder canals to resolve the water issue in the province whereas the government would be converting 3000 tube wells on solar energy.

He said the province had faced a serious drought situation over a long period which affected a large area linked with agriculture.

The government would be providing farmland sprinkler irrigation equipment to the farmers of 16 drought affected districts to compensate their losses borne due to drought in the area, he added.

He said the Rs 1870 million was the estimated cost of the project and that would include revolving sprinkler irrigation system and perforated pipe system. The government had purchased 20 bulldozers to pave the land for cultivation of local farmers.

“Under the prime minister’s vision of clean and green Pakistan, Balochistan government has planted 25 million saplings across the province,” he told.

He further said the government would prefer low water consuming trees and had planted around 150,000 olive saplings in the province in the current year.

The provincial government had planned to launch a green tractor scheme with the cost of Rs 250 million and would distribute 300 tractors among small farmers soon, Shahwani said.