Islamabad, April 10, 2014 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research (MNFSR) Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan stressed on intensifying agriculture-related research efforts in order to adequately address challenges facing the agriculture sector while presiding over 36th meeting of Board of Governors (BOG) of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) here in Islamabad which was attended, among others, by Seerat Asghar Secretary MNFSR and Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad, Chairman PARC. The Federal Minister also emphasized that the outcomes of latest agricultural research must reach the fields of farmers for realizing maximum potential of this vital sector.
“The common use of modern agricultural technology and innovation will increase farm productivity not only to the benefit of farmers but will also ensure future food security in the country”, observed the minister.
The minister also expressed hope that valuable inputs and recommendations by members of PARC BOG will aid PARC in streamlining its efforts for prosperity of agri sector of the country. Mr. Bosan also emphasized on further strengthening and improving coordination efforts at PARC, which as an apex agriculture research body, was playing a leading role for the development of agriculture sector in Pakistan.
The minister further stressed on the need to modernize agricultural infrastructure to achieve integrated development of agriculture, livestock, fisheries, horticulture and forestry. During the course of meeting, members of BOG were informed that cooperation in agricultural research and development with international and national partners was the main aim of PARC for poverty alleviation and food security in the country.
It was also apprised that in addition to MoUs with various international agencies, PARC has signed around 37 MoUs in multiple agriculture areas at national level with government agencies, universities and private sector throughout the country. Moreover, about 60 projects under Agriculture Linkages Programme (ALP) were in progress out of which 31 related to livestock sector. Furthermore, five PSDP projects were also in the process of approval.
The Federal Minister appreciated PARC for scaling up its activities in different areas of agriculture to meet farmers’ requirements like development of certified nurseries for fruit plants, range management interventions for improving livestock productivity and farmers’ income, development and commercialization of environmentally safe chemicals and bio-control agents etc.
“Our ultimate goal is to make Pakistan self-sufficient in all major food items”, added the minister. During the meeting, Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad, Chairman PARC gave an overview of various on-going national and international coordinated agricultural research projects in the country.
Dr. Amir Muhammad, Founding Chairman PARC and member of PARC BOG also suggested various proposals for implementation by PARC. The provincial members of PARC BOG also appreciated agriculture research efforts of PARC while identifying diverse areas of agriculture for future collaboration and coordination.
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