PESHAWAR - Provincial Minister for Agriculture and Live­stock Mohibullah Khan on Thursday said that the PTI-led government was strengthening agricul­ture, livestock and fish­eries sectors in merged areas under PM National Agriculture Emergency Programme to improve the socioeconomic con­ditions of tribesmen.

He was addressing the second session regard­ing development initia­tives in merged districts and assessing the lev­el of outreach and ac­cess programmes held at Govt Degree College Ekk­aghund in Mohmand dis­trict as a chief guest.

The session was briefed by Deputy Commissioner Mohmand who explained the development initia­tives undertaken by the government in the dis­trict.

Members of Nation­al and Provincial As­semblies, youth, politi­cal leaders, civil society, business community, re­ligious scholars, jour­nalists and tribal elders participated in large number.

Provincial Minister Mo­hibullah Khan said the department of agricul­ture and livestock was actively pursuing the Prime Minister’s Nation­al Agriculture Emergen­cy Programme (NAEP) in KP.

He said KP’s three ma­jor livestock programs including Feedlot Fatten­ing Project, Save the Calf and Poverty Alleviation through Poultry Develop­ment were launched af­ter its inclusion in NAEP in the province.

Poultry programme is being extended to merged areas which would be completed in different phases.

PM poultry initia­tive is an inclusive pro­gramme primarily tar­geting downtrodden and poor segments under which one million poul­try birds would be dis­tributed among 166,667 poor households during next four years in KP, he added.

Eggs production had been started by these poultry units in Kohat, Mardan and Swabi dis­tricts and the beneficia­ries are earning a hand­some livelihood.

The minister said merged areas have a huge potential for trout fish farming due to its better climate condi­tions and this would be tapped.

In spite of 43 per cent of the labour force em­ployed in the agriculture sector, he said only Rs40 billion were spent in KP in the agriculture, live­stock and poultry sectors during the past 60 years.

The minister said the PTI government would spend Rs95 billion on de­velopment of these agri­culture sectors during its five years.

A modern poultry re­search centre had been established in Jaba, Mansehra district to con­duct research on poultry related diseases and to prepare life saving chick­ens vaccines.

These programmes af­ter completion would increase meat and milk production besides re­ducing poverty and generate employment opportunities for thou­sands of tribal youth.

Meanwhile, the min­ister announced Rs500 million for Pension En­dowment Fund for em­ployees of Agriculture varsity.

He made the announce­ment as a chief guest of the 12th Convocation of Agriculture University held here which was also attended by students and parents and teaching fac­ulty.