PM Shehbaz calls for agriculture reforms to cut import bill.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday stressed upon takAing practical and permanent steps over the agriculture reAforms and said that the governAment would improve the rural economy through the value adAdition of agri-production.

The prime minister chaired a high-level meeting on the fiscal budget 2023-24 proposals reAgarding the agriculture sector, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.

The prime minister observed that agriculture sector was the backbone of the national econAomy and the country's progress was not possible without innoAvations in this sector. He said that due to the incumbent govAernment's Kisan package, a reAcord wheat yield was achieved in the current season.

During the meeting, the prime minister was apprised in details of the agriculture reforms during the previous one year. Due to PM's special Kisan Package, the provision of loans to farmAers on affordable terms was not only ensured but due to supply of timely fertilizers and quality seeds, the country also achieved the bumper wheat crop, exceedAing the previous production in the last ten years.

Under the prime minister's directive, the best-supporting prices over different crops led to the prosperity of farmers which would also boost the upcoming crops, it was added. The prime minister also directed for direct provision of subsidy to farmers on fertilizers. He said that the provision of quality seeds, latest machinery, extension services and for agriculture research, reAsources would be allocated in the fiscal budget.

The prime minister said that practical steps should be incorAporated in the fiscal budget for complete conversion of agriculAture tube wells on solar energy.

The prime minister was also informed about the internationAal quality seeds, import of semen for animals breeding, functionAing of the agriculture instituAtions and implementation over Kisan package.

The meeting was briefed over the National Oil Seed Policy whose objective was to reduce dependence over import of edible oil by provision of quality seed.

Automatic Seed Certification and Track and Trace System were being introduced for the provision of quality seed, it was further added. The prime minisAter terming the proposals of exAperts as very useful, directed his Adviser Ahad Khan Cheema to form two sub-committees to give final shape to budget proAposals regarding the agriculture sector. These committees would be tasked to give concrete shape to innovations in this sector, mechanization...

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