The interim administration of Punjab in Pakistan has recently approved the transfer of over 45,000 acres of land in three districts to the Pakistan Army for the purpose of corporate agricultural farming. The military’s land directorate has requested the transfer of 42,724 acres in Bhakkar, 1,818 acres in Khushab, and 725 acres in Sahiwal. The move follows a joint-venture agreement signed on March 8 between the Punjab government, the military, and corporate farming corporations. The deal would involve the Punjab government supplying land, the army managing the project using its resources, and the business sector investing and providing auxiliary support.
According to a report by Dawn, the military views the area as barren, uncultivated, and underutilized. It intends to make the land fruitful and turn it into a source of revenue and natural resources. The military’s involvement is expected to offer a coherent administrative structure that would benefit the general public, the government, and the investors. Retired army officers would handle the project and ensure its success, protecting the interests of all parties involved.
The land will remain the property of the Punjab government, military sources have clarified. The army’s participation in the project will offer administrative expertise and resources to make the project a success. The business sector is expected to invest in the project and provide auxiliary support, such as fertilizers. The joint venture agreement signed in March 2023 stipulated that state lands immediately required for the project be handed over to Pakistan Army.
At least 40% of the cultivation money will go to the Punjab government, 20% to modern agricultural research and development, and the rest to future crops and project expansion. The joint venture agreement signed by the Punjab government, military, and corporate farming corporations is expected to yield positive results for all parties involved. It will provide the military with an opportunity to use its resources and expertise in the agricultural sector, help the Punjab government to generate revenue, and offer investors an attractive opportunity to invest in Pakistan’s agricultural sector.
The move has been criticized by some, who are concerned about the military’s involvement in the agricultural sector. They fear that this could lead to further militarization of the economy and affect the interests of small farmers. However, proponents of the project argue that the military’s involvement would provide administrative and technical expertise, which would benefit the sector as a whole.
The decision to transfer over 45,000 acres of land to the Pakistan Army for corporate agricultural farming is a significant move that is expected to yield positive results for all parties involved. The Punjab government will supply the land, the army will use its resources and expertise to manage the project, and the business sector will invest in and provide auxiliary support. While some may criticize the military’s involvement in the agricultural sector, proponents of the project believe that it would benefit the sector as a whole.