Rs10b agricultural project launched

Provision of modern agricultural extension services to farmers is need of time and, under Privatisation of Agricultural Extension Services to Enhance Service Delivery, a project through use of ICT-based services at a cost of Rs10billion has been implemented, said Agriculture Department spokesman here on Sunday.

The spokesman said this project is for the whole of Punjab but initially in the first phase, it is being launched from Sargodha, Sahiwal, Dera Ghazi Khan and Gujranwala divisions.

It has been decided to deploy field force at the level of union council through private service providers to provide modern agricultural extension service to farmers to provide them technical guidance. Under this programme, two field assistants will be posted in each union council and one agriculture officer will be posted in every 3 union councils. The spokesman said the challenges of the productivity enhancement, diversification, intensification, value addition without much harming soil, water and environment are mounting and existing field services engaged in multifarious jobs is feeling huge difficulties to manage the burgeoning challenges of 5.2 million farmers in Punjab to guide the farmers correctly.

Under this scheme, services will be provided by use of ICT through private service providers and for effective monitoring in collaboration with Punjab Information Technology Board command and control centre will be set up to ensure effective monitoring and maximum interaction with the farmers. A call centre for farmer awareness will also be set up and through which SMS, Robo calls, weather and market related information will be provided to farming community, he said.

Source: thenews

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