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May 2024

Balochistan farmers to get free rice seeds after Eid

QUETTA: Balochistan will start the distribution of free rice seeds and other equipment among farmers in four districts after Eidul Fitr.

Talking to reporters on Saturday, agriculture department Secretary Umaid Ali Khokhar said that with the help of a $5m grant from the Asian Development Bank, the government will provide free rice seeds and other agricultural machinery to the farmers in Sohbatpur, Jafarabad, Nasirabad and Jhal Magsi.

He said the agriculture department was using all available resources for the development of the agriculture sector and to facilitate the farmers.

Mr Khokhar said the monsoon rains in Balochistan in 2022 caused a damage of over Rs300 billion to the agriculture sector.

The agriculture department launched a campaign for free supply of wheat seeds in September and October last year to provide relief to the farmers and to help them get them back on their feet.

The secretary said that despite severe financial difficulties, the provincial government made the arrangements for free supply of wheat seeds and a committee, headed by the district commissioner in each district, overlooked the transparent distribution and access to wheat seeds.

“Over 381,500 sacks of best wheat seeds worth 2.2 billion were procured from Punjab and distributed free of cost among farmers in 34 districts of the province,” Mr Khokhar noted. He claimed that due to this initiative, there has been a record production of wheat in Balochistan this year.

The secretary said the wheat requirement of Balochistan was 1.5m tonnes while 1.6m tonnes of wheat has been produced.In response to a question, he added that after the 2022 floods, the Asian Development Bank announced a loan of $15m for the province.

Published in Dawn, April 17th, 2023 QR Code

Published Date: April 17, 2023

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