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FAISALABAD: HBL Zarai Services Limited and the University of Agriculture Faisalabad have signed an agreement to enter a strategic collaboration to build bridges between industry and academia.

The event was attended by University of Agriculture Faisalabad Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, President & CEO – HBL Muhammad Aurangzeb, CEO - HBL Zarai Services Amer Aziz along with other senior members from University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, HBL, HBL Zarai Services.

Under this collaboration, HBL Zarai Services will develop Farm Research & Excellence Centres across the Punjab in collaboration with the University of Agriculture Faisalabad by integrating the concept of HBL Zarai Dera to promote sustainable agriculture. This strategic collaboration aims to establish “Farm Research & Excellence Centres” and integrate these centres.

The joint efforts will involve cutting-edge research, sustainable farming methods, increasing farm productivity to bring yields to global benchmarks, market development, and infrastructure support for farming communities. Additionally, the collaboration aims to bridge the academia-industry gap by engaging the university faculty members in various research projects, providing on-the-job training to university students, and facilitating project-based internships.

The centres will focus on advancing agricultural practices across Punjab, transitioning from subsistence farming practices to turning agriculture into a key foreign currency earner for Pakistan.

HBL Zarai Services Limited will introduce financial inclusion technologies and farmer digital inclusion programs to further enhance the impact of this collaboration on the agriculture sector.

UAF Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that these “Farm Research & Excellence Centres” would play a pivotal role in advancing modern agricultural practices in Punjab. It as a transformative step in agriculture education and a foundation in building long term bridges between industry and academia. Project based internships, on-field engagements for students leading to placements with HBL Zarai Services Limited and joint research and development projects led by the University’s faculty are among the key opportunities this collaboration offers for the institution.”

Commenting on the collaboration, Muhammad Aurangzeb, President & CEO – HBL, said, “This collaboration is a concrete and actionable step towards harnessing the immense potential within Pakistan’s agricultural sector. Recognizing the critical role played by agriculture in the country’s economy, integrating academia and industry is of strategic significance. HBL Zarai Services Limited is committed to catalyse positive change in the lives of millions associated with the agriculture sector of Pakistan. Through such collaboration, HBL further emphasises on its broader vision of driving economic prosperity and establishing Pakistan as a competitive player in the global agricultural landscape.”

Speaking on the occasion, Amer Aziz, CEO – HBL Zarai Services Limited, said, “I express my deepest gratitude to the University leadership team for joining hands with HBL Zarai Services Limited to embark on this journey of transforming Pakistan’s agricultural landscape and setting benchmarks for others to follow. Our collaboration demonstrates our strong resolve and commitment to work alongside academia in promoting sustainable and traceable agricultural practices, elevating farm productivity, and improving the lives of millions of farmers across Pakistan.”

Director Research Dr Jafar Jaskani, Principal Officer Farm Dr Azeem Iqbal, Treasurer Umar Saeed, Principal Officer Public Relations Dr Jalal Arif, Director P&D Irfan Abbas, Director Farm Dr Shahid Ibne Zamir , Director External Linkages Dr Kashif Saleemi, Dr Khurrum Zia, HBL Branch Manager UAF Sufyan Ahmad and others notables attended.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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