Pakistan

Army to Cultivate Over 50,000 Acres of Unused Land in Sindh Under Joint Venture Agreement

The Sindh government and the army have signed a joint venture agreement to launch corporate farming on over 50,000 acres of barren land in six districts of the province. The agreement was announced by Caretaker Sindh Revenue Minister Younus Dhaga at a press conference at the CM House on Friday. He was accompanied by Caretaker Law Minister Omar Soomro, Information Minister Muhammad Ahmad Shah, and Major General Shahid Nazeer.

The joint venture agreement was signed between the Sindh government and M/S Green Corporate Initiative (Pvt.) Limited, a company that operates under the umbrella of the army for corporate agriculture farming over available barren land in all the provinces of Pakistan. The company will use modern techniques and technologies to cultivate the land and produce high-quality crops.

The initiative is part of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), which was established under the Board of Investment Ordinance 2001 through an amendment act passed by the Parliament last year. The SIFC aims to facilitate investment and development projects in the country. All the chief ministers and chief secretaries of provinces are members of the SIFC Apex Committee and Executive Committee respectively.

The federal and provincial governments, including the previous elected Sindh government, decided to introduce the initiative of corporate agriculture farming (CAF) in all the provinces of Pakistan. The Sindh government approved the Statement of Conditions (SoCs) for CAF on December 01, 2023, to ensure the continuity of the policy decisions of the previous governments.

As a pilot project, the deputy commissioners of the relevant areas have identified barren land measuring approximately 52,713 acres for the initiative. Out of the 52,713 acres, 28,000 acres are in Khairpur, 10,000 acres in Tharparkar, 9,305 acres in Dadu, 1,000 acres in Thatta, 3,408 acres in Sujawal and 1,000 acres in Badin.

The barren land will be handed over to the army for more than 20 years after a survey, demarcation and verification. The land will not be granted as a title and the ownership will remain with the Sindh government. The land will not be located in prohibited areas, such as villages, katchi abadis, grazing lands, wildlife sanctuaries, forest lands, wetlands, sea-creeks, vital security installations, port and sea shore, etc. The land will also not face any pending litigations or court orders and will not be included in any barrage land grants.

The Green Corporate Initiative Ltd will spend 20% of the net profit on research and development in the local area, while 40% will be paid to the Sindh government annually. The remaining 40% of the company’s profit will be spent on local infrastructures, irrigation channels, solar-powered water supply schemes, schools, hospitals, development schemes and other facilities in the areas where the projects will be executed.

A Board of Management has been established under the Sindh chief secretary, which will take all decisions regarding land management and land issues for executing the project. The board will also monitor the progress and performance of the project and ensure transparency and accountability.

The joint venture agreement is a landmark move to boost the agriculture sector and the economy of the province. It will also create employment opportunities and improve the living standards of the local population. The project will also ensure food security and environmental sustainability in the province. The Sindh government and the army have expressed their commitment and cooperation to make the project a success.

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