Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Food Security, Jamshed Iqbal Cheema on Friday said the federal government would give loans to youth for food processing to cater the food needs of the country. Addressing a seminar entitled, “Agriculture Transformation Plan, a Vision of Prime Minister” at Islamia University Bahawalpur here he said they would not cater the food needs of the country without promoting food processing. “Our food production has not been fulfilling the total food needs of the country,” he said adding, therefore the federal government had decided to give loans to youth and other stakeholders to initiate food processing. He said the food intake of Pakistani nation was 38 percent less than developed countries. “Our new generation will get goals of progress when they are suffering from food scarcity,” he said. He said food processing was going to become a bigger business than the textile sector after the government was going to invest in it. “Our textile exports have been achieving a target of US dollar 15 billion,” he said, adding that they had been assigned a target of increasing exports to US dollar 26 billions in coming years. He added that the incumbent government had given Rs 115 billion as subsidy to the textile sector. He said 50 millions acres of land out of a total 220 millions acres of land in Pakistan was cultivated while Rajasthan state of India alone cultivated crops over 50 millions of acres of land. The government of Pakistan has decided to cultivate crops on more lands including utilizing millions of acres of land in the Cholistan desert area. He said the government had cultivated over four millions plants of olive while the country had already over 80 millions wild olive trees. He said Pakistan would soon become an exporter of olive oil and honey to other countries. He said the country depended on poultry to cater meat needs instead of promoting livestock. “Prime Minister Imran Khan has introduced policies to increase food, feed and fiber through promotion of livestock and agricultural sectors,” he said. The PM aide said Pakistan had water that was enough to irrigate 138 millions acres of land, adding that it had capacity to store only 13 million acres of water. “Now, we are going to increase the capacity of water storage that would be enough to irrigate 26 millions of acres,” he added. He said the population of Pakistan had increased by around 40 million during the last 10 years. He said the government had constructed hundreds of small dams besides launching work to construct 10 big dams in the country. He lamented that the country had been importing food and grains by US dollar eight billion annually. “Prime Minister Imran Khan has focused on the agriculture sector to cater to the food of the country by allocating billions of rupees for this sector,” he said. Provincial Secretary Agriculture for South Punjab, Saqib Ali lamented that cotton cultivation had decreased in South Punjab from five million acres of land to three millions of acres of land. “We will have to encourage our farmers in this regard by decreasing his or her expenditures on cotton cultivation,” he said. Dean of Faculty of Agriculture, IUB, Prof-Dr. Iqbal Bendesha said the government would have to give special attention towards Cholistan desert to utilize its millions of acres of land for cotton and other crops cultivation. Country Head of Magnetic Technologies, Farid Uddin said they had been extending their collaboration to Pakistan in organized rainfall to cater water needs of its agricultural sector. “Magnetic and Ionization technology can bring rains besides controlling floods,” he claimed. Vice Chancellor, Islami University Bahawalpur. Eng. Ather Mehboob said IUB had been playing a very important role in agriculture research. “IUB has been conducting research in medicinal and other important plants and herbs which would make the country prosperous,” he said.