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Corporate farming by defence forces gets a jumpstart

KHANEWAL: The cutting-edge corporate agriculture farming Sunday got a jumpstart by the defence forces in a multi-billion dollar move, aiming to ensure national food security and tapping the export market.


“We launched a modern corporate farming project to take Pakistan’s agriculture to new height. Our main focus area has been import-substitution farming so that domestic production can eventually replace billions of dollar worth of imports,” said Maj Gen (Retd) Tahir Aslam, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of FonGrow, a subsidiary of Fauji Foundation, which is spearheaded by defence institutions.

Aslam termed FonGrow a harbinger of completely mechanised, smart farming in the country as part of a flagship project of Green Pakistan Initiative, recently launched under the auspices of Pakistan Army at a function attended by the prime minister and Chief of the Army Staff.

He was talking to Lahore-based journalists during a media visit to the 2,250-acre site of country’s first corporate farm on Sunday, which is scheduled to be formally inaugurated by prime minister and Army Chief today (Monday).

Tahir said FonGrow was devolving a model that could be replicated by foreign investors at a later stage.

“We strive to expand corporate farms to 100,000 acres for cultivating wheat, cotton, oilseed crops, soybean and sesame in different districts of the country. The Green Initiative eyes corporate farming at one million acres of land by fostering partnership with various foreign and local players,” he added.

“We have set up this platform on the premise to achieve goal of reducing foreign dependency through enhanced local production. Our first trial of maize crop has yielded 20 percent more output than output of progressive farmers and that too with lesser use of water, fertiliser and other inputs.

“The establishment of FonGrow farm is truly the first step towards agricultural revolution. This is a one-of-a-kind agricultural system spread over 2,250 acres at Porowal which is planned to be expanded under a robust development plan in the next five years. It consists of mostly barren piece of land,” he said.

To a question, he made it clear that they were not against or competing with small-scale farmers. Rather, he claimed, this initiative would help introduce best farming practices at different levels.

Muhammad Zahid Aziz, Manager Farms, said the country’s agriculture needs to be expanded both horizontally and vertically with a view to increasing area under cultivation and enhancing per acre yield.

FonGrow is simultaneously targeting both these goals by employing resource conservation technology.

He said similar corporate farming in desert and semi-desert land in Bhakkar, Mankera and Layyah was also being launched.

Eng Mushtaq Ahmed Gill, Irrigation Consultant, said high efficiency agriculture had been the hallmark of FonGrow corporate farming where the center pivot irrigation made it possible to conserve water up to 90 percent.

It is sheer departure from conventional flood irrigation where most of water is lost before reaching the plants.








 
sadly I had no intention of going abroad before 2022, but this sudden sh*tstorm has me thinking otherwise. I am currently searching on ways to go abroad, but I am still in the searching phase. I do not know what methods to follow. Should I go abroad then look for jobs, or get a job here and then go abroad, or go abroad on a scholarship for studies. quite confusing, especially for someone who didnt intend or plan this long ago.
Enrolling in their university is the best way to enter the developed world.
 
People aren't wrong in feeling the way they do, given Khan sahab's current condition. That's the human fitrat, and Indians aren't different either.
It is okay to feel 'hurt'. When Indira Gandhi was assassinated, Indians rioted as did Pakistanis when Benazir was killed. But Imran's loss of power, which was a certain self-inflicted wound, was a political matter and Imran had (and perhaps still has) chance to come back to power. But to write off one's country based on something like this is puzzling, to say the least. It is not hard to see the disappointment in Imran's fanbois that Pakistan has not defaulted and that there ARE some moves to right the economy, even if using brutal tactics. I don't think people realize how low Pakistan's economy has sunk--it is worse than I can ever remember. So drastic measures are being taken, including the ongoing repression, but the goal is not fall off the cliff, while the cliff is not far off.
It might sound like me being Indian, am supporting a power that is wrangling the throat of democracy, but I strangely feel that PA is a democracy in its own way. Now I will preface this statement by saying that, it has multitude of structural and other issues, and is a far far stretch. Still the PA so far recruits someone on some form of merit, and makes them go through a rigorous form of training. Sounds manic perhaps but, some form meritocracy is coming through, even if they are overstepping their mandate.

Pakistani military is a 'KarVi Goli' (bitter pill) which must be swallowed until there is alternatives to that.

And Imran was not only not the alternative he proved even worse than the previously discredited leaders.

Imran needed an approach like Erdogan's of 2003 but he chose to be a Nawaz Sharif of 1999: He confronted too soon the powers which put him into power. And he still had a chance after the loss of NCM in April 2002: He was in power in 4 out of the 6 constituents units of Pakistan, had his own very blindly loyal President of Pakistan, had mass following, had his men appointed in important positions all over Pakistan, had his many sympathizers in the military of Pakistan, had almost parity in the National Assembly and a sizable presence in the Senate of Pakistan. Yet he squandered it all and has become a captive at his Zaman Park residence, unwilling or unable to even visit the relatives of those so-called '10,000 political workers in prisons'. Why am I repeating these: It is to drive home the point that the guy is a total idiot and megalomaniac. You talk about 'meritocracy'? Where is the meritocracy in PTI? Had there been such a thing, the party wouldn't have decimated like straws in the wind. Other parties are dynastic parties but Imran's is a personal party--even worse than dynastic parties!

So, until there is viable alternative to the Pakistani military, Pakistanis will have to keep swallowing the bitter pill.
 
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From kitchen gardens to national agricultural projects, the Army seems to have taken the domestic ideas on the national stage. Having said that, the main aim of the Army is to always be 'fit for war'. Are we today fit for war? No. Why? Because our priorities are domestic rather than the defences of the country. We have an oversized corps of military intelligence-CMI and the UNO/Gulf deployment, whereas special arms are employed on an infantry role to cover this dichotomy.

It is having an adverse impact on the war equipment of these specialised arms, whose equipment is rusting in the cantonments while the troops are busy either in internal security operations or now agricultural projects. The "bloody civilians mentality" has backfired badly. The fallacy in our minds that, only we, the soldiers, are true patriots and have the responsibility to sort out the country has proven to be a misconception in the last fifteen months or so.

The drastic efforts in political engineering and crackdown on dissent through the oversized CMI have failed to bring the desired results. Instead, the country has begun to hate its once beloved Army. The word general has become a term of abuse rather than a prestigious rank. The ISI has become a source of shame rather than pride.ISPR's publications and productions have become a laughing stock instead of the heartfelt saga of emotions that used to generate the tears of the nation.

Why have we reached this stage where we are forced to transport the families of troops to once filled stands of the popular Wagha border ceremony? Who planned and executed the false flag operation of 9th May? Why were highly respected Gen Salman Ghani, his COS, and others punished? The reason was due to refusing to become a part of the conspiracy/false flag operation of 9th May.

Why does the nation hate the ex and present Army Chiefs? How in the world does this hatred surpass those of the "bloody civilian" politicians according to recently conducted surveys by ex servicemen? Why is the Army Chief known as "The Deceiver" among his mates and now the nation?Why have we taken over the civilian government by employing a Neo Martial Law? Who gave Asim Munir the authority to crackdown on our own people and army personnel? So many questions, such few answers. What point have you brought us to? We pose this question to the current top brass because you will be judged by history for both your silences and your actions.
 
This kind of proposal gained traction in Thailand, Vietnam where the foreigners (esp Arabs) were assigning proxies to procure land for corporate farming. Fortunately it failed and corporate farming is only limited to certain areas with strict vigilance from the government.

The downside is corporate farming may become a threat to food security of the host country as the land owners (foreign corporates) have first right to the produce.

And then you have the danger of small farmers systematically squeezed out of the supply chain, by vaderas earlier, and now the army.

This kind of duffer moves where they lack the foresight of anything more than a year is alarming. Several countries have flirted with this idea and shot it down. And to top it off, the military inc whose knowhow is close to 0, will be involved in this field, is simply astounding.

Another project destined for failure.
 
It is okay to feel 'hurt'. When Indira Gandhi was assassinated, Indians rioted as did Pakistanis when Benazir was killed. But Imran's loss of power, which was a certain self-inflicted wound, was a political matter and Imran had (and perhaps still has) chance to come back to power. But to write off one's country based on something like this is puzzling, to say the least. It is not hard to see the disappointment in Imran's fanbois that Pakistan has not defaulted and that there ARE some moves to right the economy, even if using brutal tactics. I don't think people realize how low Pakistan's economy has sunk--it is worse than I can ever remember. So drastic measures are being taken, including the ongoing repression, but the goal is not fall off the cliff, while the cliff is not far off.


Pakistani military is a 'KarVi Goli' (bitter pill) which must be swallowed until there is alternatives to that.

And Imran was not only not the alternative he proved even worse than the previously discredited leaders.

Imran needed an approach like Erdogan's of 2003 but he chose to be a Nawaz Sharif of 1999: He confronted too soon the powers which put him into power. And he still had a chance after the loss of NCM in April 2002: He was in power in 4 out of the 6 constituents units of Pakistan, had his own very blindly loyal President of Pakistan, had mass following, had his men appointed in important positions all over Pakistan, had his many sympathizers in the military of Pakistan, had almost parity in the National Assembly and a sizable presence in the Senate of Pakistan. Yet he squandered it all and has become a captive at his Zaman Park residence, unwilling or unable to even visit the relatives of those so-called '10,000 political workers in prisons'. Why am I repeating these: It is to drive home the point that the guy is a total idiot and megalomaniac. You talk about 'meritocracy'? Where is the meritocracy in PTI? Had there been such a thing, the party wouldn't have decimated like straws in the wind. Other parties are dynastic parties but Imran's is a personal party--even worse than dynastic parties!

So, until there is viable alternative to the Pakistani military, Pakistanis will have to keep swallowing the bitter pill.
I agree as I feel so strange, seeing the only standing structure in Pakistan being abused day in and day out. Its the one thread holding things together, maybe Khan saahab truly came this close to toppling the Army's hold.

I think Mr Khan is too naive for politics sometimes, the way he speaks. Has too many yes men around him, and he trusts them without second thought.

I beg to differ however on meritocracy in PTI, I mean its a political party. Now we all know that in this part of the world, even offices don't follow meritocracy fully. Its the yes boss and loyalty that gets things done, so one can't expect it out of a political party of all. Political acumen and being a wiley fox, now that is something every party needs in their leaders. PTI somehow lacked these and lost the plot. Personal parties over time become dynastic, if the leader choses to. Khan saab doesn't even seem to want that, maybe he isn't clear yet or things went out of hand before he could decide.

Your last statement is hundred percent true, Pakistanis have to go with PA till there is a viable option. There is no alternative for now
 

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