Meeting on facilitation of Rabi Crop

Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari has directed that Rabi Assistance Plan be launched without any further delay in the rain affected areas of Sindh and the availability of seeds to the farmers be ensured so that sowing of Rabi crop in Lower as well as upper Sindh could take place well in time.

Spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar said that during a high level meeting on facilitation of Rabi Crop in flood affected areas held at Bilawal House Karachi today, the President was informed that during the current heavy rains, crop areas of 2.166 million acres was damaged and a loss of Rs. 218 billion was sustained by the agriculture sector.

President Asif Ali Zardari was informed about the existing arrangements made by Agriculture Department Sindh for the distribution of seeds to the affected farmers.

It was informed that the distribution of wheat seed would be carried out through EDO (Revenue) of the concerned districts and a Monitoring Committee comprising of elected representatives, DCO, Representative of Sindh Chamber of Agriculture and Representative of Sindh Abadgar Board would ensure transparent distribution of seeds.

The Agriculture department Sindh proposed a package costing Rs. 4.4 billion to be equally footed by the federal and the provincial government for growers of flood/rain affected districts. Under the package proposed by the Agriculture department, wheat would be cultivated on an area of 1.100 million acres.

Wheat seeds would be provided to the affectee farmers at the rate of 50 kgs per acre with one bag of urea weighing 50 kg. Agriculture department also informed that the total requirement of wheat will be 55000 Metric Tons to cover the proposed area.

The Sindh Government has already released Rs. 1.00 billion from its share in the first phase. It was informed that initially 25% of the wheat seed equalling to 13750 Metric Tons was being provided in the affected districts.

The President directed the required amount of certified wheat seed be purchased from for Food Department Sindh and distributed among the growers.

The President was informed that compensation of seed would be provided to the farmers maximum upto 25 acres irrespective of land holding. It was informed that the DCOs have already been assigned task of preparing detailed list of the affected growers on the basis of their NICs and the lists are to be placed on the internet at district website.

The availability of imported fertilizer was also discussed during the meeting. It was decided to convene another meeting on Saturday to discuss the distribution of locally produced fertilizers as the imported fertilizers availability would take some more time.

Those who were present during the meeting included among others Provincial Ministers Jam Saifullah Khan Dharejo, Agha Siraj Durrani, Mr. Sharjeel Memon, Mr. Murad Ali Shah, Haji Muzzafar H. Shujrah, Chief Secretary Sindh, Provincial Secretaries of concerned departments and other officials. Mir Irarullah Zehri, Minister for National Food Security and Research, was also present.

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Haji Ahmed Malik
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