The Punjab government has allocated over 45,000 acres of land to the Pakistan Army for a “Corporate Agriculture Farming” project in the shape of a “joint venture” to enhance the crop yield in order to ensure food autarky.
“The army will play a role at the management level to make the project a success story. However, the ownership of the land will continue to stay with the provincial government. The military will not get any profit or share in the revenue to be mopped from corporate agriculture farming,” sources in the armed forces confided.
According to the report, corporate agriculture farming will begin on 45,267 acres owned by the Punjab government in the districts of Bhakkar, Khushab, and Sahiwal. Phases of the project will be finished.
They said that the army participates each year in the desilting of canals to ensure that agricultural land has access to water in order to maintain food security.
“In the past, the army continued to be involved in important national projects like constructing the Karakoram Highway. Being the lowest-hanging fruit that can significantly improve the country’s economic future, it has now chosen to do its part in raising agricultural yields. The project will only be facilitated by the army. So, the criticism of social media is unjustified.
The sources say that this initiative, which will be finished in stages, would also involve big businesses.
The Punjab government’s under-cultivated and underutilized state lands will be used for corporate farming as part of the initiative. The proposal for modern, mechanized farming would include the people.
By exporting agricultural products, the production will be used to increase the country’s foreign exchange reserves in addition to meeting the nation’s food needs.
The project is really difficult because it will take a lot of water to make the area arable.
On March 8, 2023, the Punjab government and the company inked a joint venture management agreement.
“Under the agreement, the Punjab government will hand over its state lands of 45,267 acres to the army for corporate agriculture farming,” discloses an official correspondence that took place on March 10, 2023, between the army and Member (Colonies) Board of Review of Punjab.
And to this effect, the Board of Revenue has been asked to hand over by March 17, 2023, 10,273 acres of the Livestock department, Mouza Rakh Ghuman, Tehsil Kalloor Kot, district Bhakkar; by March 23, 27 acres of land of the Forest department, Muaza Gohar Wala, Tehsil Kalloor, Bhakkar and by March 15, 9,424 acres of land of Livestock department, Rakh Mahni, Tehsil Mankera, Bhakkar.
The Revenue Board of Punjab has been requested to deliver 837 acres of property belonging to the Agricultural Department, Chak 5 MB, tehsil Quaidabad, district Khushab, by March 18, as well as 981 acres belonging to the Livestock Department, Chak 61 MB, by March 17.
It has also been directed to hand over 725 acres of land of the provincial government, Chak 12/11 L, Tehsil Chichawatni, district Sahiwal.
The departments are allowed to keep portions as per their requirements for research needs. However, research proposals will be shared for better management.