LAHORE - A delegation of office-bearers of Kisan Ittehad led by Khalid Khokhar met Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Monday and announced calling off their protest.

Talking to the delegation, Shahbaz Sharif assured that all necessary steps will be taken for the uplift of agriculture sector and resolving genuine problems of farmers. He said that the subsidy rate will continue on agri tube-well for the facilitating farmers in the province.  He said that hundred percent payment of dues to the sugarcane farmers by the sugar mills will be ensured within seven days. He said that the price of seed for wheat crop will also be reduced for the farmers and cultivators will get relief through this farmer-friendly decision.  The chief minister said that the prices of rice and cotton would be stabilised through purchase by the government. He disclosed that a 2-day agri-conference will be held in December.  “Agriculture is the backbone of the economy and the government will protect interests of the farmers at all costs. National economy can be strengthened through promotion of agriculture and if farmer will be prosperous, then country will progress,” the CM held.  He said that besides government, it is also responsibility of the farmers to present practicable suggestions for increasing agriculture production. He assured the delegation that federal government would be approached for resolving those matters which relate to it.  He directed to constitute a committee for resolving problems of farmers and added that this committee should consider all aspects and submit practicable solution of the matters within next few days. He said that no negligence with regard to hundred percent payments of dues to the farmers by sugar mills will be tolerated.

Shahbaz Sharif said that farmers should come forward for the development and uplift of agriculture in the province and he is ready to provide all out resources for the promotion of agriculture. He said that farmers should present concrete and practicable proposals for the development of agriculture sector in the conference to be held in December.  Office-bearers of Kisan Ittehad thanked Shahbaz Sharif for taking personal interest in resolution of their problems and said that the Chief Minister has won their hearts by proposing solid steps regarding resolution of their problems.  They assured to increase agriculture production according to the vision of Shahbaz Sharif. No doubt, Shahbaz Sharif has proved to be a farmer-friendly Chief Minister by showing interest in resolution of problems of farmers, they added.  Provincial Minister Dr Farrukh Javed, Mian Yawar Zaman, Special Assistant Arshad Jut, MPA Rana Sanaullah, concerned secretaries and other senior officials were present on the occasion.