Pakistan

RAWALPINDI – The Punjab Government has announced that it will distribute free cows and buffaloes among 400 women in the Rawalpindi district, so that they could earn an income by selling milk.

“The agriculture department has completed a list of 400 widowed women who will receive the livestock,” Punjab Agriculture EDO Dr Arshad Latif said yesterday.

According to the criteria set by the provincial government, the woman should not have another source of income and her child must be school-going.

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The EDO further informed the media that the government will distribute smartphones among farmers who will receive a loan under the Kissan Package, at a cost of Rs. 100 per phone.

“The mobile phone should be used to check weather updates and news on farming techniques, and provide updates about crops in their respective areas,” he told Dawn News.

Under the package, a farmer can apply to register until Dec 15, and they can apply for a loan – particularly farmers who have 12.5 acres of land. “Rs25,000 per acre will be provided for rabi crops, and Rs40,000 per acre for kharif crops,” Dr Latif added.

Livestock plays an important role in the rural economy and employs a massive number of people. Millions of farmers herd cattle and manage to meet their daily needs. Punjab alone enjoys 49% share in total cattle strength of the country. The agriculture sector contributes about 21% to Pakistan’s GDP of which, the share of livestock sector is 56%.