The “Kissan Package,” worth Rs 1,800 billion and including at least 600 subsidies to support the Agri economy, was unveiled by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday to aid the agriculture sector, which has been adversely affected by the floods. In addition to offering interest-free loans to farmers and young people, the package Mr Sharif unveiled at a press conference lowered the cost of electricity and fertilisers, offered free seeds to farmers affected by floods, forbids the import of used and inexpensive tractors, and mandates the conversion of tube wells from electricity to solar power.
Farmers would receive interest-free loans, power at a fixed price of Rs13 per unit, agricultural loans worth Rs50 billion for youngsters, fertiliser discounted by Rs2,500 each bag, and interest-free loans for landless farmers totalling Rs5 billion. The package also includes allocations of Rs10 billion for small and medium-sized businesses, the distribution of 1.2 million bags of certified wheat seeds to flood-affected districts, and the import of 2.6 million tonnes of wheat.
Pakistan is predominantly an agricultural nation, and this industry forms the foundation of the economy. The regions that make up modern-day Pakistan used to supply all of India with the goods it needed before independence. Since a major portion of the population is still employed in agriculture, global economic conditions, weather changes, and inadequate economic policy have all had an impact on our economy in recent years. As a result, it continues to suffer from the current state of affairs and will only be able to recover after the agricultural sector’s issues have been resolved and all feasible steps have been taken to promote its growth.
The Kissan Package by the coalition government is a significant practical step in this direction. The prime minister says he is confident that the positive effects of the package will begin to be seen in six months. Despite the destruction of 400,000 acres of crops as a result of the floods, there will be no shortage of wheat in the country. In the press conference, the Prime Minister expressed his commitment that this historic package will be implemented to the letter to guarantee agricultural development and farmers’ prosperity. However ambitious the plans may be, their practical results can only be realized if they are carried out following the true spirit. In the developed countries of the world, there has been tremendous progress in agricultural practices over time, resulting in a multifold increase in production per acre. Correct use of every single drop by avoiding wastage of water is easily possible if these methods are adopted. The time demands that modern methods of agriculture should be fully introduced in our country as well. Moreover, climate change is a major and real challenge for our agriculture. With the flood disasters we are facing today, the melting of glaciers and abnormal rainfall due to the continuous increase in the earth’s temperature, there are clear fears that similar situations will occur in the coming years. To prevent this, effective plantation campaigns and large-scale emergency water storage arrangements are also essential to control temperature.