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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.








 
civvies cant keep the gutters intact!!

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.

“Civvies” can’t because lumber 1 didn’t care to build any dams and don’t provide us with enough water.


Pakistan Army has a record of human rights abuse and killing on corporate farmland they operated on in the past:

Soiled Hands: The Pakistan Army's Repression of the Punjab Farmers' Movement | HRW

Pretty well-documented report, and there's more on this as well. I hope people aren't that desperate to be gunned down due to minor disagreements if they choose to work for them. Most of all, lots of people will be forced to part ways from their land without any compensation under intimidation.
 
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What an ironical situation? Defence forces engaged in farming.

If it was really felt that farming needed a push, then the respective department could have given that push by enabling those who are engaged in farming. It was an opportunity to create and put systems in place which would achieve excellence over time. A lost opportunity.

Once establishment enters this filed, will they go out of it after some time? Unlikely. One more pie in the hand.

Haven’t seen even one prosperous nation where Defence Forces are engaged in so many areas, other than their domain expertise.
 
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What an ironical situation? Defence forces engaged in farming.

If it was really felt that farming needed a push, then the respective department could have given that push by enabling those who are engaged in farming. It was an opportunity to create and put systems in place which would achieve excellence in that field. A lost opportunity.

Once establishment enters this filed, will they go out of it after some time? Unlikely. One more pie in the hand.

Haven’t seen even one prosperous nation where Defence Forces are engaged in so many areas, other than their domain expertise.

Jack of all, master of none, fits the motto here well.
 
To drive agricultural output, one needs a holistic approach.

1. Water management
2. Farmer education
3. Availability of Farm related tools
4. Logistics

But then the military inc being a kinetic, lack the foresight to create a proper ecosystem and process to drive agricultural sector forward.

Corporate farming will only result in their own produce appearing in supermarkets in Dubai. The Pakistani public will get 0 benefit out of this. There might be reports of some of their land being taken away given how strategically their land is located.
 
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.
How will Pakistan be able to generate a viable economic or political alternative when room isn’t being given to allow for growth.

People that have honestly thought back on IK’s term see both the improvements as well as the deficiencies, but it was an evolution of the democratic system. Call them cultists or fanbois, but the truth is the majority of the public wants change. And it looks like the people can only expect more hardship.

If this is a crisis that came to a head due to IK’s tenure it wasn’t only the result of those 3-4 years, but the results of all of the visionless wrongs since independence.

No one wants to see Pakistan default, (at least not amongst the Pakistanis on this forum, we are too deeply emotionally invested in Pakistan) but hope to see the nation pull itself up with the resources of its own people, not sell itself to the highest bidder and lose the last remnants of its sovereignty.

At this point what is the point of calling Pakistan a democratic country and what’s the point of an election. The decisions have been made in all things that matter.


P.S. The average age of population is approx. 23 and we are expected to see 60% population increase over the next 30 years. If we have pro-domestic growth policies with protection for civil liberties and better social spending, we can grow economically out of this mess within domestic means.
 
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Agreed.
And what is the Pakistani military anyway?? It is from the Pakistani population!!! The ruling elites of Punjab are only different by their choice of clothing! People here are criticizing this because the initiative is being made while Imran is not in power. That's the truth! Nothing good can ever be done in Pakistan by anyone unless Imran is in power. What a bunch of brainwashed zombies! I swear, I can even feel their disappointment that Pakistan has not defaulted and the economy has not totally tanked.
Imran khan this imran khan that blah blah blah at least explain your side of the argument without using IK IK IK IK........................
NCM lover.
 
Is duty of armed force to grow crops?
Than who will defend our boarder?
Now farmers cadets will be passed
out from Military academy kakul.
 
I beg to differ however on meritocracy in PTI, I mean its a political party.
Before even the May 9 debacle, there was a vote on PDF where the question was something like 'will PTI survive if Imran departs' and not only me but others---including the PTI fanbois--said, no, PTI wouldn't. That's a slap on Imran's '27 year political struggle' . It is a personal party and Imran had ensured it would be a personal party. Even Altaf Hussein's legacy was more durable in case of his sudden death.
If it was really felt that farming needed a push, then the respective department could have given that push by enabling those who are engaged in farming.
Here is what you and other here need to really know: The emerging economic paradigm is going to be brutal capitalism to take Pakistan away from the abyss facing Pakistan and the most important factor in that is that no cross-eyed Supreme Court Chief Justice like Iftikhar Chaudhry would take a 'suo moto' notice again to cripple large economic projects. That guy caused a huge loss to Pakistan's economy and he was helped by all, including the ever opportunist Imran Khan, just to get rid of Pervez Musharraf. But then hindsight is 20/20, eh!
People that have honestly thought back on IK’s term see both the improvements as well as the deficiencies, but it was an evolution of the democratic system. Call them cultists or fanbois, but the truth is the majority of the public wants change. And it looks like the people can only expect more hardship.

Oh, please. You should know that Imran is as far from a 'democrat' as it ever gets!! what kind of a 'democrat' would have landed in the situation like right now instead of walking across the aisle a few feet after losing the NCM. You give too much credit to this intellectually and morally deranged person. He is about to be betrayed by his 3rd and hopefully final wife--tells you something, eh?

And when do people NOT want 'change'? From my cursory observation of modern world, only time exceptions were like Bill Clinton in 1996 and Reagan in 1984 and maybe Modi in the last Indian elections. I am sure there are other exceptions. But BD and India had/have dynastic rules and they provided stability. What Pakistan needs, above all, is stability and continuity of policies. And everyone knows if the Anarchist Khan loses the next elections, he'd be again onto some 'long marchers' and 'dharnas' because that's all this guy knows. The sooner he is put behind bars or exiled the better.

Imran could never be an agent for 'change'. The guy doesn't even believe in 'democracy' in his own party, let alone in Pakistan. And I absolutely believe his downfall is linked with his desire to prolong his rule by co-opting his favorites in the military.

PS. If Assad Umar were to lead PTI, I believe he is a great person!! I truly admire him.
 
I am struggling to find the more funny thing here...

But then what the hell the expats divorced from Pakistan's realities know?

This oxymoron...

OR...
Here is a related video by a mature anchor. One feature of the emerging economic setup in Pakistan is that, to pull Pakistan out of the current mess, it is going to be a brutal form of capitalism, guaranteed by the Pakistani military, being introduced. No courts of law would be allowed to meddle.


The fact that you called Ansar Abbasi a mature anchor.
 
Before even the May 9 debacle, there was a vote on PDF where the question was something like 'will PTI survive if Imran departs' and not only me but others---including the PTI fanbois--said, no, PTI wouldn't. That's a slap on Imran's '27 year political struggle' . It is a personal party and Imran had ensured it would be a personal party. Even Altaf Hussein's legacy was more durable in case of his sudden death.

Here is what you and other here need to really know: The emerging economic paradigm is going to be brutal capitalism to take Pakistan away from the abyss facing Pakistan and the most important factor in that is that no cross-eyed Supreme Court Chief Justice like Iftikhar Chaudhry would take a 'suo moto' notice again to cripple large economic projects. That guy caused a huge loss to Pakistan's economy and he was helped by all, including the ever opportunist Imran Khan, just to get rid of Pervez Musharraf. But then hindsight is 20/20, eh!


Oh, please. You should know that Imran is as far from a 'democrat' as it ever gets!! what kind of a 'democrat' would have landed in the situation like right now instead of walking across the aisle a few feet after losing the NCM. You give too much credit to this intellectually and morally deranged person. He is about to be betrayed by his 3rd and hopefully final wife--tells you something, eh?

And when do people NOT want 'change'? From my cursory observation of modern world, only time exceptions were like Bill Clinton in 1996 and Reagan in 1984 and maybe Modi in the last Indian elections. I am sure there are other exceptions. But BD and India had/have dynastic rules and they provided stability. What Pakistan needs, above all, is stability and continuity of policies. And everyone knows if the Anarchist Khan loses the next elections, he'd be again onto some 'long marchers' and 'dharnas' because that's all this guy knows. The sooner he is put behind bars or exiled the better.

Imran could never be an agent for 'change'. The guy doesn't even believe in 'democracy' in his own party, let alone in Pakistan. And I absolutely believe his downfall is linked with his desire to prolong his rule by co-opting his favorites in the military.

PS. If Assad Umar were to lead PTI, I believe he is a great person!! I truly admire him.

I find it hard to believe Imran Khan would not negotiate a mutual agreement with the Pakistani Army. He seemed pragmatic enough to co-opt the Pakistani Army on the way in. He has enough of popular middle class base not to commit political suicide. As you see on this forum his supporters were in general staunch supporters of the Pakistani Army. It boils down to what really caused the split with the Pakistani Army. It is obvious some folks in the Pakistani Army wanted him out. As we discussed in another thread no one can figure out what was the reason for the split.
 
I find it hard to believe Imran Khan would not negotiate a mutual agreement with the Pakistani Army. He seemed pragmatic enough to co-opt the Pakistani Army on the way in. He has enough of popular middle class base not to commit political suicide. As you see on this forum his supporters were in general staunch supporters of the Pakistani Army. It boils down to what really caused the split with the Pakistani Army. It is obvious some folks in the Pakistani Army wanted him out. As we discussed in another thread no one can figure out what was the reason for the split.

I said multiple times here, the rumors about the split started after the Fall of Kabul to the Taliban in August 2021. The rumors became loud and repeated and official denials started appearing.

Students of Pakistan's politics know that such rumors are not unfounded especially when the rumors surround the appointments and/or extensions of the next Army and ISI Chiefs, because those two roles are the real kings of Pakistan and anyone who have their buddies there, has stronger positions. Look into the history of Pakistan's politics: Confrontational personalities like Nawaz Sharif's downfalls were because of his premature adventurism into the domain of the military--and three times!! Same was the case with Imran along with displeasure toward Imran by some foreign powers.

Imran's downfall had everything to do with his quest to continued power via co-opting his favorites in the military. If you know Urdu, then you'd see even current loyalist of Imran like Pervez Elahi cursing Imran for picking an unnecessary fight.

As to your idea that Imran could make amends with the military, I don't think anyone would listen to Imran: He has burned his bridges with the current Army command but maybe, maybe, if Nawaz Sharif becomes the next PM, he'd screw up again so badly--and 4th time--that Imran would look better, but I doubt that.

I'd like to also add that there is indeed a kind of 'regime change' in the sense that foreign powers persuaded the Pakistani military to simply stop supporting Imran but those regimes are America, China, and Pakistan's GCC Arab friends. History will prove me correct and in not too distant future. Those countries want a stable Pakistan for their own reasons. And Imran is the antithesis of stability.
 
The fact that you called Ansar Abbasi a mature anchor.

In a recent interview of AA, he is supporting the Senate Chairman shooting down an anti-PTI bill in Senate.
Honestly, I have seen much more 'balance' and 'maturity' in the anchors who might appear anti-PTI then in the cultist anchors. Many of the anti-Imran, like me, have turned against PTI but that aversion has its roots in recognizing Imran Khan's intolerable personal flaws. PTI would have been fine if someone like Assad Umar was groomed to be a real alternative. But nothing could be allowed as alternative. 27 years!!
 

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