PESHAWAR - More than 950 new vacan­cies from BS-3 upto BS-18 have been created for the newly merged districts of Khyber Pa­khtunkhwa in Agriculture De­partment and its attached for­mations under the Accelerated Implementation Plan (AIP). The process of recruitment against these vacancies is in progress which will be completed during the upcoming fiscal year.

This was informed at a meet­ing held here yesterday with Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in the chair to review progress on the ongoing developmental schemes of Agriculture Depart­ment launched in the merged districts.

The meeting was informed that 732 vacancies have been created in Livestock and Dairy Development sector, 46 in Fish­eries, 106 in Soil and Water Conservation, 81 in Agriculture Engineering and 50 in Agricul­ture Extension.

Regarding the progress so far made on various ongoing devel­opmental schemes, it was told that Integrated Agriculture De­velopment Scheme had been launched in the NMDs with a cost of Rs. 1500 million to pro­mote the cultivation of vege­tables and fruits under which fruits orchards have been es­tablished on 1950 acre of land whereas vegetable seeds have been distributed for 4267 acre of land, and the scheme will be completed by the year 2022.

“Similarly, another scheme for virus free seed potato pro­duction using tissue culture has also been launched with a cost of Rs. 508 million,” it was informed and added that one Tissue Lab has been made functional, construction of an­other lab is in progress and training is being given to local farmers.

It was also informed that a three-year scheme has been launched for livestock produc­tivity enhancement under the Livestock and Dairy Develop­ment sector with a cost of 674 million under which 13 mo­bile veterinary clinics and 100 calf fattening farms have been established whereas more than 1000 units sheep/goats have been distributed in the merged districts.

“Under the Agriculture Engi­neering sector, a scheme worth Rs. 1657 million has been launched for levelling waste land and solarization of exist­ing agricultural tube wells,” it was informed and added that under the scheme, so far 15 so­lar pumping systems have been installed and more that 15 acre land has been levelled.

Regarding the proposed schemes of Agriculture Depart­ment to be included in the up­coming Annual Development Program for the merged dis­tricts, it was told that besides other initiatives, a scheme for Olive Cultivation and establish­ment of Olive oil processing plants has been proposed in the upcoming ADP.