Pakistan: Army handed over 45,000 acres for ‘corporate farming’
Islamabad: Punjab's caretaker government has signed an agreement to hand over at least 45,267 acres of land in three districts — Bhakkar, Khushab, and Sahiwal — of the province to the Pakistan Army for ‘Corporate Agriculture Farming’, media reports said.
According to a document, the military’s land directorate wrote to the Punjab chief secretary, Board of Revenue and secretaries of the agriculture, forest, livestock and irrigation departments for handing over of 42,724-acre land 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, reports Dawn News.
The letter referred to a notification of the Punjab government dated Feb 20, 2023, and a joint venture (JV) agreement of March 8. It reminded that “while signing the JV management agreement on March 8, it was decided that state lands immediately required for the project be handed over to Pakistan Army.”
According to informed sources, the JV has been signed between the military, the Punjab government, and private firms dealing with corporate farming.
Speaking about the salient features of the proposed project, the sources said that 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.
Military sources told Dawn News this development and said that the army was “not taking over the ownership of the land as it will remain the property” of the Punjab government.
“The intervention of the army will provide a coherent administrative structure,” the sources added.