LAHORE - Punjab government and World Bank have signed an agreement of cooperation in development of agriculture, stability of agri economy and best usage of water resources.

Agriculture Secretary Muhammad Mehmood and World Bank Country Director Patchamuthu Illangovan signed the agreement.  Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif was the chief guest of the ceremony held at Model Town.

According to the agreement, the World Bank will provide technical assistance to Punjab government for promoting agriculture, increasing per acre yield, stabilising agri economy and using water resources in the province. World Bank will also extend cooperation regarding implementation of modern technology for promoting agriculture on lasting basis.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister the agreement signed with World Bank is a milestone in the development of agriculture sector.  He said that World Bank will cooperate in introducing successful models of the world especially Brazil for development of agriculture sector in Punjab.

He said that agriculture sector of Pakistan especially Punjab had proved its metal in the world but now unfortunately, it has declined for the last years, however, today’s agreement signed with World Bank will supplement government efforts for developing agri sector and bringing prosperity in rural areas.

The Chief Minister said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, full attention is being paid to agriculture. He said that federal and Punjab government have given packages of billions of rupees for the prosperity of cultivators and relief has been provided to them especially small farmers through these packages. He said that the country will become prosperous with the prosperity of farmers.

The Kisan Package of billions of rupees has been announced for this purpose, he added. He said that agri sector will be set on modern lines for the uplift of agri economy and prosperity of farmers. He said that besides use of agri machinery and implements, scientific techniques will have to be implemented for increasing agri production. Shehbaz Sharif said that proper use of fertilizer and water will also play an important role in the development of agriculture sector.

The WB Country Director said that timeline will be settled within six weeks for implementing the programme.

  He said that there is a great potential in agriculture sector in Punjab and added that joint efforts will be made with Punjab government for utilising this potential.

A joint steering committee, headed by Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, was also constituted for implementing roadmap of agreement. This committee will determine the roadmap and implement speedily.  Ministers Yawar Zaman, Dr Farrukh Javed, Ayesha Ghaus Pasha and senior officials attended the event.