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Pakistan Announces Farm Aid Package

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced farmers will receive $3.2 billion in grants, subsidies, and loans from the government in a bid to spur sluggish growth.

"The conditions of the agricultural sector do not inspire confidence," Sharif said as he announced the new package at a farmers' convention in Islamabad on September 15.

The funds will be provided through immediate cash grants and subsidies on agricultural inputs worth $1.4 billion, while loan advances worth $1.85 billion will also be made and disbursements begin this year, he said.

The new schemes represent the government's largest economic development program for the agricultural sector since it was voted into office in 2013.

Agriculture accounts for roughly 23.8 percent of Pakistan's gross domestic product, according to the country's central bank. Wheat, cotton, rice, sugarcane, and corn are its main crops.

Based on reporting by Reuters