Sunday
25 February | 2024

Lahore, Pakistan

Pakistan’s first corporate farm to ensure food security; to increase productivity, exports

FonGrow CEO Tahir Aslam says Pakistan needs stability to attract investment as friendly countries are ready to invest in agriculture sector, to bring modern machinery to boost crops production

Pakistan’s first corporate farm on 2,250 acre land at Pirowal village of district Khanewal likely to increase agricultural exports, besides promoting corporate farming, tackling climate change to increase food productivity, and using wasteland for agriculture, according to senior officials, experts, and farmers.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir inaugurated the corporate farm as part of the Green Pakistan Initiative, which focuses on water conservation, sustainable farming and research and development. With an initial investment of $500 million, the project was launched to enhance modern farming on over nine million hectares of uncultivated state land.

“We need stability to attract foreign investment as Pakistan’s friendly countries, especially from Middle East, are ready to invest in agriculture sector and bring modern machinery to boost crops production,” said Tahir Aslam, Chief Executive Officer of FonGrow Private Limited – a project of the Fauji Foundation aimed at securing a better future for food production.

Tahir Aslam says establishment of corporate farm is a first step towards agri revolution

With a multi-pronged strategy, “we will ensure food security through efficient water management, utilizing high-efficiency irrigation systems through which we want to make barren lands across Pakistan into cultivable lands,” he said while talking to journalists. “Our agri-service support system will provide access to modern techniques, technology, expertise, and better seeds to farmers at an economical cost,” he said.

“We will ensure food security through mass-scale corporate farming,” said Tahir Aslam, a retired major general of the Pakistan Army and recipient of Sitara-e-Imtiaz Military. “We are working to bring about a positive change in Pakistan’s agricultural landscape and alleviate the risk of food shortage in coming years,” he said, adding that the establishment of corporate farm is truly the first step towards agricultural revolution.

To a question, he said that local and foreign collaboration would not only promote corporate farming but also help small growers by including them in these initiatives. As a comprehensive program, he said that the Green Pakistan Initiative has potential to transform Pakistan into a green agricultural country. To another question, he confirmed that stakeholders from across the country welcomed the Green Pakistan Initiative.

Khalid Khokhar says Pakistan has to adopt modern agriculture technologies to develop a sustainable source of food supplies
Pakistan’s first corporate farm at Pirowal village in Khanewal

“We launched a modern corporate farming project in Khanewal to improve agriculture. Our main focus area has been import substitution farming so that domestic production can eventually replace billions of dollar worth of imports,” Muhammad Zahid Aziz, the manager at the farms, told journalists who visited the corporate farm at Pirowal. On the occasion, Agricultural Consultant Engineer Mushtaq Ahmed Gill and Pakistan Kissan Ittehad President Khalid Mehmood Khokhar were also present.

“Our company, established in 2022 with a mission to ensure food security and agriculture excellence, trying to position Pakistan as a leading agricultural producer while using modern farming techniques, research, and sustainable water management practices,” Zahid Aziz told journalists. He said that Gulf countries were ready to invest in Green Pakistan Initiative which will enhance agriculture productivity.

Khalid Khokhar says Pakistan can develop sustainable food supplies thru modern agriculture technologies

Talking to journalists, Pakistan Kissan Ittehad President Khalid Mehmood Khokhar said that Pakistan’s food security could be at stake if agricultural production was not boosted. He said that Pakistan has to spend billions of dollars annually on food imports, including those of wheat, sugar and vegetables, to bridge local shortfall despite being an agrarian economy. He appreciated Green Pakistan Initiative, saying Pakistan has no other option but to adopt modern agriculture technologies to develop a sustainable source of food supplies.

PM APPRECIATES COAS

It is pertinent to mention here that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif credited General Asim Munir for envisioning Green Pakistan Initiative, saying that Pakistan’s agriculture economy will revive in the next two years. Also, he assured to extend full facilitation to the farmers in order to bolster agri productivity. “Our government will provide conducive environment to farmers through provision of quality seeds, pesticides and fertilizers,” he said, saying farmers must get due price of their crops.

General Asim Munir assured army’s full support for all the initiatives being initiated under the ambit of Special Investment Facilitation Council, including Green Pakistan Initiative. Experts and farmers highly appreciated the landmark initiative and army’s special focus on revolutionizing the agriculture sector by promoting modern contemporary technology, collaboration of public and private sectors and trickling down dividends to the local farmers to alleviate poverty.

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