LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has said that farmers’ welfare was a top priority of the government because national development was linked with farmers’ progress.

In a statement, the chief minister said the PTI government had taken several steps to protect the rights of farmers, adding that the government had fulfilled the long-standing demand of farmers by increasing the support-prices of sugarcane and wheat after many years.

He said the development budget of the agriculture sector had been increased over 100 percent in the current budget by earmarking Rs 40.76 billion.

The government will continue to protect the rights of the farmers, he said and added that farmers were also allowed to set up stalls in 32 model bazaars for directly selling their produce and Kisan platforms have been established in 31 vegetable markets.

He maintained that farmers were provided free space to directly sell their produce in model bazaars and vegetable markets. Due to it, farmers were getting suitable prices and the consumers were facilitated to buy edibles at subsidized rates.

In his address at an agriculture university, Punjab Governor Ch Sarwar stressed the need for Introducing scientific tools and research so that farmers could be able to enhance produce yield

He said that quality education and innovative research was imperative to face the present day challenges. He said students could play a pivotal role in development of social sciences, prosperity of the country and addressing the food security issues.

.Ch Sarwar said that priority had been attached to provision of clean drinking water, clean and green campaign, installation of solar panels in universities and preparing projects to cope with the issue of water scarcity in all universities of the Punjab province.

The governor said that he had appointed permanent vice chancellors at all universities of Punjab purely on merit as earlier the VCs were working on ad-hoc bases. Most of the universities from Punjab province , he added,  would be included in the list of first 500 universities of the world within next two years.