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    Agriculture is one of the 7 major components of CPEC…Syed Fakhar Imam

    Chitral Times Report

     

    ISLAMABAD: Agriculture is one of the 7 major components of CPEC.This was said by Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam on Tuesday while chairing the consultative meeting on development of Southern Balochistan under various modalities. The districts included Washuq, Kharan, Panjgur, Kech, Lasbella, Awaran, Khuzdar and Gwadar. He said that we need to revamp agroeconomy scientifically. Federal Minister was of the point of view that Balochistan can sustain large range lands for livestock. He said that marine fishery can be a long-term thrust for Balochistan agro economy. Balochistan can be leader in value addition of crops. On the other hand Federal Secretary for National Food Security and Research, Omar Hamid Khan mentioned that on July 24, the National Development Council (NDC) was constituted under Prime Minister Imran Khan.NDC will take the special initiative for south Balochistan on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan, who wanted urgent and tangible steps taken on priority basis to bring the underdeveloped part of Pakistan to a higher level of development. Federal Secretary added that Balochistan has potential of livestock. He asked the participants of the meeting to give clear cut projects with defined financial implications. It was discussed in the meeting that in Washuq, Khuzdar and Lasbella, low delta crops with high market value can be cultivated with small interventions by PARC. In Awaran, Lasbella and Khuzdar, long-term availability of non-GM cotton seed and organic inputs for farmers is specialty of the area. There is horizontal development of cotton in KP and Balochistan through capacity building, technology transfer and ginning facilitation under PM Emergency Program (PSDP). For future multiplication of cotton seed and promotion of organic cotton is the long term strategy. It was also discussed that in Khuzdar, Kharan and Awaran Olive could be the true replacement of the traditional crops. The high value could bring good value to the farmers and comparatively less care to the plant with plantation on uneven land are added advantages. So establishment of Olive orchard clusters and nurseries, installation of olive oil extraction units and Brand/marketing of Pak Olive can be done. Similarly, in Gwadar & Lasbella, there is Fish Farming potential through cage culture. Further, capacity building of fish farmers can be done through trainings. There is already Cage Culture Cluster Development project under PM Agriculture Emergency Program. At present the Government of Balochistan is funding this project from ADP. Federal Government can revisit the project on 50-50 sharing basis. Capacity building of fish farmers is also future intervention. On the other hand for uplifting of small livestock farmers is significant for their proper settlement, improvement in socio-economic conditions and to increase their herd. In longer run re-stocking of small ruminants and establishment of Food & Mouth Disease (FMD) Vaccine Production Laboratory at Khuzdar is also considered.

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