PESHAWAR -Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Mohibullah Khan Friday said that PM National Agricultural Emergency Programme should also be continued in the current situation created due to coronavirus.

The programme, he said, includes project for enhancement of the production of wheat, rice, sugarcane and oilseed, preservation of the water resources and their better utilization that are of the higher importance.

He expressed these views while speaking in a video link meeting with Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam, in which provincial ministers of agriculture and food from other three provinces also participated. The meeting reviewed situation of wheat and cotton in the country and sought proposals from the provinces in this regard.

Representing Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mohibullah Khan told the meeting that wheat harvesting in KP will begin in D.I. Khan from April 20, 2020 and that in May it will continue in Mardan and Peshawar and in Malakand and Hazara regions during June.

He told the meeting that the KP government has completed preparations and harvesting machinery is ready while workshops are also been opened, so the growers do not face any hardship.

He told the meeting that the demand of wheat in KP is 46 metric tons while its own production is 1.3 million metric tons. The total under-cultivation area is 4.00 million acres in the province and out of that 2 million acres are irrigated and half is not irrigated.

The provincial minister said that National Agriculture Emergency Programme launched by the Prime Minister Imran Khan is of the high importance. He said that 11 projects have been initiated under the programme in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that include enhancement of the production of wheat, rice, sugarcane and oil seed, improvement in water courses and establishment of command areas in the unirrigated areas.

Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam appreciated the provincial minister for his detail briefing regarding wheat and assured that his proposal regarding the National Agriculture Emergency Programme would be shared with the high-level authorities.