The Pakistan Army has been allocated over 45,000 acres of land by the Punjab caretaker government for a “Corporate Agriculture Farming” project.
According to reports, this is a joint venture between the Punjab government, the Pakistan Army, and private firms dealing with corporate farming to enhance crop yield in order to ensure food sufficiency.
The Punjab government will provide the land while the army will utilise its resources and retain the management of the project. The private sector, on the other hand, will invest and provide auxiliary support, including the supply of fertilisers.
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45,267 acres of land in three districts — Bhakkar, Khushab, and Sahiwal — of Punjab will be handed over to the Pakistan Army for ‘Corporate Agriculture Farming’. 42,724-acre land will be in tehsils Kaloor Kot and Mankera in Bhakkar, 1,818 acres in tehsils Quaidabad and Khushab in Khushab, and 725 acres in tehsil Chichawatni of Sahiwal.
The report of the Army receiving the land has sparked criticism on social media, however, military sources clarified to the media that the army was “not taking over the ownership of the land as it will remain the property” of the Punjab government, however, the army will provide a coherent administrative structure.
Land that is 60% the size of the Maldives was just given to the Army for corporate farming.
In Bhakkar, Khushab and Sahiwal: more than 45,000 acres. https://t.co/9Dt9AMegEV
— Fasi Zaka (@fasi_zaka) March 16, 2023
Why is agricultural, livestock & forest land being handed over to the Pak Army when they already have so many issues to deal with. pic.twitter.com/zC6u9sKjXx
— Sami Mehsud (@SamiMehsud) March 17, 2023
Under the project, state lands of the Punjab government which are barren and under-cultivated will be utilised for corporate farming. The locals would be made part of the project for modern and mechanized farming.
The project will be managed by retired army officers and the army will not get any pecuniary benefit out of this project rather the profit from the farming will go to the locals, the Punjab government, and firms that will invest in the project, it was reported.
At least 40pc of the revenue generated from the cultivation will go to the Punjab government, 20 per cent will be spent on modern research and development in the agriculture sector, while the remaining will be used for the succeeding crops and expansion of the project.