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FAISALABAD: Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam has said that researchers should come up with viable solution to address the problems of farming community and increase productivity in order to ensure food security.

He was talking on a Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (CATAS) and University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF). CATAS-UAF workshop and a memorandum of understanding was inked among five institutions one of China and four from Pakistan to promote technology transfer and cooperation.

The institutions include Institute of Tropical Bioscience and Biotechnology of CATAS, China; University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF); MINSOL Consultant (Pvt) Limited, Pir Meher Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi; and MNS University of Agriculture (MNSUA) Multan. As per agreement, MINSOL will strive to viably commercialize the products developed in collaboration with other parties. MINSOL will serve as a conduit for all commercial aims and objectives of the Chinese institution in Pakistan.

Syed Fakhar Imam said that we must switch over to high-value crops to secure space in the global food market. He said that we have to learn from the experiences of the other countries. He hoped that the collaboration will China will bring the tangible results to address the problems of the farming community. He said that this year we have substantial increase in the production of three major corps. This year, per acre wheat production has boosted up which was stagnant for the last ten years, resulting in the significant increase of 2.2 million ton in the national wheat production. He said that it is increased by 1.5 ton per acre. We had harvested a bumper wheat crop of 27.5 million tons, while rice and maize production also stood at around 8.5 million tons each.

He said that the production of cotton in Punjab was touching 4.5m bales at an increase of approximately 8.5 per cent from last year. Overall cotton production is likely to reach 8.46 million bales. He said that provision of certified seed, value addition and mechanization was one of challenges in which agriculture experts should play their pivotal role.

He said that the country is producing the excellent fruit but export is the negligible. Value addition and the adaptation of the international standard are prerequisite. We import edible oil and pulses worth billions of the rupees.

UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that all parties will work on the establishment of the commercial tissues culture facilities in Pakistan. They would commercialization of tissue culture, development of varieties adapted to indigenous needs and climatic conditions. They will also explore other crops for cooperation and will conduct joint academic and research activities. He said that our agriculture was in the grip of different challenges despite the being of the best eco system, climate and others. He said that we have to switch the modern trends and reach out the farming community. He said effective measures were being taken at the government level to stabilize agricultural development and increase production per acre. This will ensure adequate food availability for the growing population.

Vice Chancellor MNSUA Dr Asif Ali said joint collaboration will help uplift the agriculture sector for the food security. He said that agriculture sector is the backbone of our economy that is directly linked to poverty alleviation.

Arid Agriculture University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Qamar-uz-Zaman stressed upon the need to learn from the experiences of other nations. He said that they were making all efforts for the agriculture development.

MINSOL Consultant (Pvt) Limited CEO Nihal Ahmed said that MINSOL Consultants (Private) Limited was an SECP Listed General Consultancy firm focused on the fields of agricultural technology development, testing, adoption and commercialization. The company is providing professional and legal consultancy for farming initiatives, commercial agriculture, technology adoption, intellectual property rights, artificial intelligence, agriculture policy, agricultural development, and internet policy.

Dr Gu Wenliang said that the Pakistan and China were enjoying excellent ties and the collaboration will produce tangible results for the agricultural development.

Prof Dr Jafar Jiskani, Dr Aman Ullah Malik, Dr Rahid Waseem, Dr Muhammad Azam, Dr Gu Wenliang Agriculture Official of China, Dr Li Kaimian Vice President of CATAS; Chen Yixi from China and other notables spoke on the occasion.—PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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