The Punjab government has granted the Pakistan Army access to more than 45,000 acres of land for a “joint venture” for “Corporate Agricultural Farming.”
Army personnel will participate in project management to ensure its success. Yet, the provincial government will retain ownership of the land.
According to sources within the armed forces, the military will neither profit from corporate agriculture farming nor receive a portion of the funds collected but to boost crop production and assure food security.
The Punjab government’s 45,267 acres in Bhakkar, Khushab, and Sahiwal districts will be used for corporate agriculture production. The undertaking will be completed in stages.
They asserted that the army participates annually in the desilting of canals to ensure water supply to the agricultural area to preserve food security.
Throughout history, the army has continued to participate in significant national projects such as the construction of the Karakoram Highway. As this is the lowest-hanging fruit that has the potential to make a substantial difference in improving the nation’s economic outlook, the government has opted to contribute to increasing agricultural production. The task will be simplified by the army alone. Thus, the criticism on the online forums is unjustified.
According to reports, the project, which will be completed in stages, would involve corporations.
Uncultivated and underutilized state lands owned by the Punjab government will be utilized for corporate farming as part of the initiative. The new, mechanized farming enterprise would include locals.
In addition to addressing the nation’s food needs, agricultural goods will be exported to improve the country’s foreign exchange reserves.
The project is complex since irrigating the area requires a lot of water.
On March 8, 2023, the Punjab government and the joint venture management agreement were signed.
Official communication dated March 10, 2023, between the army and Member (Colonies) Board of Review of Punjab discloses that “under the agreement, the Punjab government will transfer 45,267 acres of state lands to the army for corporate agro cultivation.”
In this regard, the Board of Revenue has been instructed to transfer 10,273 acres of land belonging to the Livestock department, Mouza Rakh Ghuman, Tehsil Kalloor Kot, district Bhakkar, by March 17, 2023; by March 23, 27 acres of land belonging to the Forest department, Muaza Gohar Wala, Tehsil Kalloor, Bhakkar; and by March 15, 9,424 acres of land belonging to the Livestock department, Rakh Mahni, Teh.
The Revenue Board of Punjab has been asked to hand over 837 acres of land belonging to the Agriculture Department, Chak 5 MB, tehsil Quaidabad, district Khushab, by March 18 and 981 acres belonging to the Livestock Department, Chak 61 MB, by March 17.
In addition, land belonging to the provincial government must be transferred from Chak 12/11 L, Tehsil Chichawatni, district Sahiwal.
The departments may retain portions as necessary for their research. Nonetheless, research ideas will be distributed for improved management.