(Islamabad, 29th September, 2017)….. Government of Pakistan acknowledges the role of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in Pakistan for improvement of agriculture sector and poverty reduction. This was stated by Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research (NFS&R) Sikandar Hayat Bosan on the occasion of the visit of Mr. Fazal Abbas Maken newly appointed Federal Secretary for M/o NFS&R at National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC). Ms. Mina Dowlatchalir, FAO Country Rep. in Pakistan was also present during the said visit.
The Honorable Federal Minister for NFSR appreciated the major contributions made by FAO in Pakistan over the few years such as; achieving Avian Influenza free status since 2008, establishing National Poultry Lab (Hub Lab for SAARC countries), control of FMD of cattle & buffalo, implementing community based development initiatives for alleviating poverty and ensuring food security, and supporting relief and rehabilitation activities in emergencies were especially mentioned. Mr. Sikandar Bosan also requested further technical support from FAO in strengthening the National Agricultural Research System (NARS) of Pakistan.
The main purpose of the visit was to introduce the research activities carried out under the umbrella of National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) to Honorable Mr. Fazal Abbas Maken on his taking charge as Federal Secretary for M/o NFS&R. The Federal Secretary was briefed by Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan, DG, NARC on several success stories taken under NARC and he also visited the field experimental area of Horticultural Research Institute, Honey Bee, 200 acre cultivated area of Soyabean, Silage Production Plant for small farmers, Cow and Buffaloes Sheds, National Institute of Genomics and Advanced Biotechnology (NIGAB), Gene Bank of Bioresources Couservetion Institute (BCI) and other research areas of National Agricultural Research Centre.
Mr. Fazal Ababs Maken, Federal Secretary for NFS&R expressed that it is a big challenge for the country to develop, implement and make it a success story through efficient coordination among the provinces. While looking forward to establish national policy, we also need to produce more agro products to meet the food demand, he added.
Dr. Yusuf Zafar T.I., Chairman, PARC stressed that food production is not only one factor to be emphasized but promoting balanced diet among masses is also very important. He also suggested bringing all stakeholders, private sector and civil society on board for uplift of agriculture, livestock and fisheries sectors.
Ms. Mina Dowlatchalir, FAO Country Rep. in Pakistan agreed to support all and any kind of technical training and capacity building in Pakistan to solve the problems of agriculture sector in Pakistan. She also said that we need modern technology, input for marketing and awareness among masses for employing new techniques which would enhance crop productivity to a large extent.
Edited by: Muhammad Fiaz Joyia