Home Latest News Punjab Government Gives 45,000 Acres of Land to Army for ‘Corporate Farming’

Punjab Government Gives 45,000 Acres of Land to Army for ‘Corporate Farming’

State-owned acreage from Bhakkar, Khushab and Sahiwal to be utilized for joint venture of military, government and private firms

by Staff Report

File photo. Arif Ali—AFP

The Punjab caretaker government has allocated 45,267 acres of land to the Pakistan Army for a “corporate farming” project aimed at enhancing crop yields to reduce food insecurity.

According to a document of the military’s land directorate, the caretaker government has signed an agreement to hand over the acreage in Bhakkar, Khushab and Sahiwal districts to the Pakistan Army for ‘Corporate Agriculture Farming.’ It said the livestock department would provide 10,273 acres of land in Kaloor Kot tehsil of Bhakkar; 9,424 acres in Mankera tehsil of Bhakkar; and 981 acres in Khushab. Similarly, the provincial forest department would provide 23,027 acres of land in Kaloor Kot of Bhakkar, while the agriculture department would yield 837 acres in Quaidabad tehsil of Khushab, and 725 acres in Chichawatni of Sahiwal would be provided by the provincial government.

The document noted the land was being procured in accordance with a notification of the Punjab government from Feb. 20 and a joint venture agreement of March 8. It stated 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 local media, the Army would serve in a managerial capacity, but the Punjab government would retain ownership of the land. Private organizations, meanwhile, would be called upon to invest in the project and provide support in the form of fertilizers and seeds. Citing sources, several publications also reported that the military would now receive any profit or share in the revenue generated from the project. They claimed the designated land had been identified as ideal for corporate farming by the Punjab Board of Revenue after several months of surveys.

The project calls for utilizing “barren”—unutilized by humans—land for corporate farming, with an aim to include local residents. Reports indicate the military hopes to use the project to boost Pakistan’s food insecurity and also produce excess commodities for exports to increase the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

The project has already drawn significant criticism on social media, with citizens questioning the need for the Army to join a project that has nothing to do with its “primary duties” of protecting the country’s borders and national security. Concerns have also been expressed over the potential for the allocated land to be misused for non-productive purposes—such as housing societies—at the cost of local environmental concerns.

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