Punjab CM gives approval to set up research endowment fund

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CM to ensure coordination of the sub-institutions of the Agriculture Department for research, better performance and good governance
LAHORE
Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz on Monday gave approval to establish a research endowment fund worth Rs 500 million for Ayub Research Center.
Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif and PML Quaid Muhammad Nawaz Sharif co-chaired a meeting to review challenges of agriculture in Punjab, said a handout issued here.
She said,” When a farmer applies for a loan, it should be ensured that the loan is issued as soon as possible. The department should devise a fool-proof system of monitoring and feedback of the loan scheme.”
Maryam Nawaz also gave in-principle approval of a pilot project for the recruitment of agriculture officers and field assistants against vacant posts. She directed to ensure adherence to merit in the recruitment process.
In the meeting, it was decided to ensure coordination of the sub-institutions of the Agriculture Department for research, better performance and good governance.
PML-N Quaid Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said, “Lack of quality seeds even after the lapse of four decades is a matter of grave concern.”
He said, “Effective steps should be taken to plug the wastage of 37 MAF water from wastage in Punjab,” He emphasised the need to use modern methods of irrigation.
The Secretary Agriculture in his briefing on various projects for the development of agriculture in Punjab apprised that 1.7 MAF of water could be saved by paving 7300 water courses (Khalaas) in Punjab. A proposal to return rainwater to the ground by reverse pumping to improve groundwater levels was also reviewed in the meeting.
Moreover, necessary measures to increase the rate of farm mechanization from 35 to 60 percent in Punjab were also discussed.
It was decided in the meeting that Rs150 billion loan will be given to farmers for Rabi and Kharif crops. PML-N Quaid Muhammad Nawaz Sharif directed formulating simple eligibility criteria for the farmers to avail loans.
It was also decided in the meeting to amend the Fertilizer and Pesticide Act.
Senior Provincial Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Punjab Information Minister Azma Bukhari, Agriculture Minister Ashiq Hussain Kirmani and others attended the meeting.