World Bank delegation meets CM Shehbaz Sharif
LAHORE: (APP) A delegation of the World Bank's (WB) Agriculture and Rural Transformation Mission led by Country Director Patchamuthu Illangovan met Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, here on Wednesday.
Matters regarding development of agriculture sector and strengthening of markets for agriculture and rural transformation in Punjab were discussed in the meeting.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that Pakistan was an agrarian country and agriculture sector was the backbone of its economy,
He said that development of agriculture sector could help strengthen national economy and achieve the target of self-sufficiency. He said the Punjab government would welcome cooperation of the World Bank in the development of agriculture sector.
The CM said that provincial government wanted to benefit from the experience of the World Bank experts for the uplift of agriculture sector and increase in per acre yield.
He said that an agreement of cooperation would be signed between the Punjab government and the World Bank for development of agriculture sector.
Shehbaz Sharif further said that the World Bank was an important partner of the Punjab government in the programme of uplift of social sectors and several programme were running in the province with the cooperation of the World Bank for the provision of basic amenities to the masses.
He said that the World Bank was extending commendable cooperation for the development of social sectors and measures would be taken for increasing its cooperation in agriculture sector.
The Chief Minister said the Punjab government had given a historic package of 100 billion rupees for increasing per acre yield and prosperity of small cultivators.
He said that programme of provision of interest-free loans to small cultivators had been started and these loans were being given in a highly transparent manner with the help of modern technology.
Shehbaz Sharif said that Punjab Agriculture Commission had also been established for the uplift of agriculture sector and solution of problems of cultivators while a high level committee had been constituted for evolving agriculture policy.
He said that measures were also being taken for the establishment of Small Farmers Development Corporation.
The Chief Minister said that future of Punjab was linked with agriculture and development of agriculture sector could help in strengthening of provincial economy. He said that agriculture research could go a long way in increasing agri production.
He said that transfer of results of latest research to farmers was of vital importance, therefore, extension services were being fully activated. He said that comprehensive reforms were being introduced in seed industry.
He said that agriculture experts of the World Bank had given excellent recommendation for the development of agriculture sector in the province and full benefit would be taken of their experience and skills.
Country Director of the World Bank Patchamuthu Illangovan assured that all out cooperation would be extended to the Punjab government for the uplift of agriculture sector.
He said that there was a vast potential for the development of agriculture sector in
Punjab and the World Bank would work with the provincial government for fully utilizing this potential.
He said that the best agriculture scientists of the world had been appointed in Islamabad and working with them would leave a positive impact on agriculture sector in the province.
Provincial Ministers Dr. Farrukh Javed, Yawar Zaman, Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Special Assistant on Livestock Arshad Jutt, Advisor Dr. Ejaz Nabi, Chief Secretary, Senior Member Board of Revenue, Chairman Planning and Development, Secretaries of concerned departments, agri experts and senior officers were also present on the occasion.
Senior Director Agriculture Juregen Voegele, Senior Agriculture Economist Johannes Georges Pius Jansen and other experts comprised the World Bank team.