ISLAMABAD: The federal government has prepared a comprehensive National Action Plan (NAP) to modernise the agriculture sector under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
In its two-year performance report, the government informed that the plan for agriculture modernisation will focus on important issues hampering the country agri output, including locust control; germ plasma resource exchange; exchange of agriculture experts; pest and disease control satellite station; fisheries, aquaculture and shrimp farming; and post-harvest food processing technologies.
Similarly, the report stated, the Ministry of Planning has also initiated the Kachhi Canal Phase-II project. “The second phase will irrigate 216,000 acres of land and the project has the capacity to turn the large tracts of land in Balochistan into a food basket for not only for the people of the province but also for the rest of the country.”
It is pertinent to note that Phase-I of Kachhi Canal has already been completed at a cost of Rs80 billion. Upon completion of the project, the canal will provide irrigation water to 7,200 acres’ fertile land which will increase the cropping intensity from existing 4pc to 80pc.
Meanwhile, the government informed that a plan to perform the groundbreaking of the Rashakai Special Economic Zone in the first quarter of 2020-21 has already been approved, while the government will also finalize the request for proposals (RFP) for Dhabeji SEZ during the current month.
It was also informed that the government was also mulling to prioritise three SEZs in this year and these would be developed in phases. If necessary, the PTI government will also provide assistance under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).
Simultaneously, the zones will be launched for industrial colonization and relocation of enterprises from China and beyond.
Besides this, it was told that significant progress has been made under industrial cooperation in 2019-20, and the government in this regard will soon inaugurate the Allama Iqbal Industrial Zone in Faisalabad.
Likewise, work on Diamer-Bhasha Dam has also been started and the project will be completed in the mid of 2028. The scope of this project consists of 270-meter-high roller compacted concrete dam apart from 4 MAF live storage and energy of 4,500MW. The project would also provide 14,000 jobs during construction, while 2.5 million direct and indirect employment after completion.
As per the government, the Mohmand Dam project, construction of which commenced in July last year, was approved by the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) in 2018.
The project, approved at a cost of Rs309.6 billion in 2018, is likely to be completed by March 2025. Upon completion, the project will generate 800MW hydropower energy, irrigate 16,737 acres of land, control flooding, produce 470 cusec drinking water for Peshawar and create 1,000 jobs.