KARACHI: Following Punjab, the armed forces are gearing up to initiate corporate farming in Sindh, with a government-to-government (G2G) joint venture agreement inked between the provincial government and M/S Green Corporate Initiative (Pvt.) Limited, as reported on Saturday.
The company, operating under the military’s auspices, will oversee corporate agricultural activities on available barren lands across all provinces. The accord was announced by Caretaker Sindh Revenue Minister Younus Dhaga in a press conference at the CM House on Friday, accompanied by Caretaker Law Minister Omar Soomro, Information Minister Muhammad Ahmad Shah, and Major General Shahid Nazeer.
This initiative is a component of projects launched under the Special Investment Facilitation Council’s (SIFC) purview. The council, established under Chapter IIA of the Board of Investment Ordinance 2001 through a parliamentary amendment act last year, has chief ministers and chief secretaries of provinces as members of the SIFC Apex Committee and Executive Committee, respectively.
Federal and provincial governments, including the then-elected Sindh government, collectively decided to introduce corporate agriculture farming (CAF) across all provinces in Pakistan. As a pilot project, approximately 52,713 acres of barren land have been identified by deputy commissioners in relevant areas.
These include 28,000 acres 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. According to the agreement, the military will be granted the land for over 20 years after a thorough survey, demarcation, and verification process to ensure it meets specified criteria.
The criteria include being free from prohibited areas, pending litigations, court orders, and exclusion from any barrage land grants. Additionally, the survey ensures that the land does not fall within the limits of villages, katchi abadi, temporary shelters, and other specified areas.
Under the agreement terms, Green Corporate Initiative Ltd will allocate 20% of the net profit for research and development in the local area, while 40% will be annually paid to the Sindh government. The remaining 40% of the company’s profit will be invested in local infrastructure, irrigation channels, solar-powered water supply schemes, schools, hospitals, development projects, and other facilities within the Sindh province.
The report also notes that the land will not be granted as a title and will be exclusively assigned for cultivation, with ownership remaining vested in the Sindh government. Local rights and water rights of the population will remain unaffected by the projects.