The Federal Minister for Food Security, Tariq Bashir Cheema, announced that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has issued instructions to put 1.2 million of Pakistan’s agricultural tube wells on solar power.
He explained in a press conference that the step would render farming electricity-free and enable farmers to repay their easy loan installments after two to three years.
Minister Cheema also said the largest import bill is palm oil at $4.5 billion and will reach $6 billion next year. Efforts are being made to produce oilseeds locally to save foreign exchange, he added.
He stated that short-term and long-term policies have been developed based on the Prime Minister’s directives, and an agricultural task force has been formed to provide workable recommendations in this regard.
Minister Cheema said that relief will be given to farmers to increase the cultivation of wheat and cotton and added that the minimum price of cotton will be fixed with the support price of wheat long before they are sower.
He also highlighted that maize, rice, and sugarcane are being grown instead of cotton.
Addressing the issue of agricultural lands, the minister said that housing societies are sold on paper, and the task force will make recommendations for the protection of agricultural lands.