ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister Ministry of National Food Security and Research (NFSR) Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan on Thursday underlined the need to strengthen and expand the scope of agricultural research and innovation system for increasing farm productivity and attaining self-sufficiency in food production.
He said agriculture sector was playing a vital role in the development of country’s economy and MNFSR in consultation with provinces and stakeholders’ concerned should formulate policies and roadmaps to make agriculture a profitable profession besides improving its infrastructure.
Presiding over 37th meeting of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Board of Governors (BoG) Bosan underscored the need to mechanise agriculture sector in the country by employing the use of advanced agricultural technology. The Board approved Rs 2.415 billion as non-development budget for PARC for financial year 2014-15 with grant of 10 percent adhoc relief allowance. Minister laid stress on devising an efficient mechanism for transferring new agriculture technology to farmers and growers across the board to boost up growth and yield of crops.
A robust media campaign should be launched simultaneously to highlight initiatives and work done by PARC and to increase awareness amongst farmers about modern agricultural developments.
Extended collaboration between PARC and provincial research institutions would aid in achieving integrated development of agriculture, livestock, fisheries, horticulture and forestry.
He commended PARC-an apex agriculture research body, which was playing a leading role in the development of agriculture sector in Pakistan.
He praised PARC in developing small scale Hot Water Treatment Plants to ensure quality and disease free exports of mangoes.
He appreciated the efforts of PARC in producing certified and quality seeds for sustained agricultural growth.
Dr Iftikhar Ahmad Chairman PARC briefed the participants about the progress of PARC made during 2013-14, about in-house research and new innovations, about on-going and newly approved projects, Agriculture Linkages Programme (ALP) funded projects, accords signed with national and international partners and coordinated research projects funded by United States Department of Agriculture, United States Agency for International Development, International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas and other international donors.
Board also approved Rs 930.165 million as development budget for seven on-going and eight new projects, Rs 95.164 million for accords projects, Rs 157.547 million for ALP projects and Rs 108.860 million as supplementary grant. Dr Amir Muhammad founding Chairman PARC, Abdul Majeed Nizamani from Sindh, Mir Jaffar Khan Jamali from Balochistan and other members of the Board suggested various proposals for implementation by PARC for the uplift of agriculture in the country.
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