LAHORE: Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar inaugurated the wheat harvesting campaign, 2020 in Matwa Village of Rojhan Tehsil in Rajanpur district by cutting the crop with harvester on Thursday and also prayed for the success of the campaign.

Talking on this occasion, the CM said that this year's wheat procurement target is fixed at 45 lac metric tons and the wheat will be procured at the rate of Rs. 1400 per maund. The restriction of gardawari has been done away with and provincial ministers will also monitor the procurement campaign in their assigned districts. He disclosed that 15 inter provincial entry and exits points will also be fully monitored during this campaign. He reiterated that the interests of the farmers will be protected and every wheat grain will be procured as they are the benefactors of the nation. The CM disclosed that different projects worth Rs. 300 billion are launched in Punjab under PM Agriculture Emergency Programme. An Rs. 12.5 billion project has also been started to increase the per acre wheat yield, he added. The government has provided four lac sacks of certified seeds to the farmers this year and 12 lakh sacks will be given to farmers for the next crop. In the meantime, he asserted that crops of 2.5 lac farmers have been insured by increasing the scope of the crops insurance scheme. The CM told that Rs. 8.5 billion subsidy is also given to 52 lakh farmers to purchase fertilizes and ten thousand watercourses are being concrete-lined in Punjab with an amount of Rs28 billion to improve the supply of water.

The chief minister further told that Punjab government has introduced 80 new verities of vegetables, fruits and other commodities besides starting complaint management system for eradicating spurious pesticides and fertilizers. Similarly, interest-free loans worth Rs. 15 billion have also been given to farmers under the e-credit scheme, he said.

The CM was briefed that one crore and ninety lac tons wheat crop is expected this year from an area spanning over one crore and sixty-five lac acres. The wheat procurement target of more than 6.5 lac metric ton is fixed for DG Khan division. 29800 metric ton wheat is being daily provided to meet the food needs while 11 lac and 91 thousand flour bags are being provided to different markets in Punjab. It was further told that ban has been imposed to procure wheat without food grain license and more than 1000 KG wheat could not be obtained privately for personal use.

Later, the CM visited the wheat procurement centre in Matwa Village of Rojhan tehsil and distributed gunny bags among the farmers. In the wake of Corona Virus pandemic, implementation of necessary SOPs will be ensured to protect farmers. He was also briefed about the situation of locust in Rajanpur.

Agriculture Minister Malik Nauman Langrial, assembly members and others were also present on this occasion.