(AZRI, Bahawalpur 5th-6th February 2021) Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan Chairman PARC and Dr Sarfraz Ahmad, Member Natural Resources Division (NRD) PARC visited the PARC Arid Zone Research Institute, Bahawalpur on 05th – 06th February, 2021, to witness research activities being carried out at the institute. The Director AZRI, Bahawalpur along with his team warmly welcomed them.
a) Research briefing:The Director AZRI, Bahawalpur has given detailed research briefing at training hall, AZRI Bahawalpur. The Chairman PARC along with the Vice Chancellor of Cholistan University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Bahawalpur, and Member NRD/ Finance PARCchaired the technical session/ research briefings. The faculty members from academia headed by Prof. Dr. Shazia Anjum Director Cholistan Institute of Desert Studies(CIDS) Islamiya University Bahawalpur and the other officials from research organizations, extension department Bahawalpur, agricultural engineering department Bahawalpur, progressive farmers, famer associations, NGOs and indigenous Cholistani farmers participated in the research briefing session. The Director AZRI Bahawalpur briefly described the various research activities, technologies developed, outreach activities and other services being provided by the institute to the farmers of the area. The Chairman interacted with the farmers, NGOs personal and researchers of various organizations about the services being provided by this institute and the issues and challenges of desert farming communitiesand how we can fill these existing gaps and combat these challenges. The farmers shared their problems and acknowledged the services being provided by the institute. The Chairman PARC ensured that the PARC will lead from the front to provide the services to farmer’s community both in research and development. The Chairman witnessed the exhibition/demonstration on hydroponic agriculture and solar dryer models at AZRI, Bahawalpur along with delegates/ progressive farmers.The Member NRD extended vote of thanks to farmers and other participants.
b) Field visits:The Chairman PARC along with Member NRD held detailed visit of the experimental farm of AZRI, Bahawalpur andwitnessed the mother orchards arid horticulture crops (Fig, pomegranate, falsa, date palm and grafted ber), research/adoptability trials of olives, Jojoba and nursery of fruit and multipurpose range plants. They also visited the research trials on medicinal plants (Ispaghol), wheat, pulses and mustard at experimental area. The Chairman PARC keenly viewed the whole farm and analyzed wheat seed multiplication blocks and the other crops under income generation at the institute.He also observed saline patches which has been recently brought under cultivation i.e. wheat and oat. The Director AZRI, Bahawalpur along with his team of scientists briefed them about each above mentioned research activities.
The Chairman also visited Cholistan farm along with and witnessed high density orchard citrus, research/ agronomic trials on medicinal plant (Ispaghol), oliveadaptability and jojoba trials, income generation crops wheat and chickpea and establishment of arid trees, shrubs and range grasses grown on sand dunes. The Director AZRI, Bahawalpur along with his team of scientists briefed them about each above mentioned research activities being carried out at Cholistan farm.
c) Meetings:The Chairman PARC held detailedmeeting/ discussions with the Director CIDS, IUB, Divisional Directors, agricultural extension and agricultural engineering, Bahawalpur and emphasized to develop a partnership among the institutions for sharing the knowledge, expertise and germplasm exchange.
i) Meeting with the Vice Chancellor CUVAS, Bahawalpur. The Chairman PARC along with the member NRD and Director AZRI, Bahawalpur held a detailed meeting with the Vice Chancellor of Cholistan University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Bahawalpur in his office and discussed about the livestock potential of Cholistan desertwhich is a powerful tool to escape the poverty of the local farmers. The both authorities agreed to develop a partnership between PARC and CUVAS for the further research and development in livestock sector through joint venture for preservation of indigenous breeds of cattle and goats, semen production, preservation and dissemination on public private partnership basis.
ii) Meeting with the Vice Chancellor MNS University of Agriculture, Multan: The Chairman visited the office of the VC MNSUAM, TheHonorable Vice Chancellor has given the presentation on various research and academic activities of the university and arranged field observatory visit of various ongoing trials on wheat and other crops. Both authorities discussed various options for future research collaboration and showed mutual interest for the launching joint ALP Funded project regarding formulation and promotion of bio pesticides between AZRI, Bahawalpur and Department of Entomology MNSUAM.
iii) Meeting with the representatives of Kissan Welfare Organization Bahawalpur:The Chairman also held meeting with the representatives of the KWA and discussed various issues of the farming community and suggested some guidelines to link the KWA with PARC through regional institutes.
d) Inaugurations: The Chairman PARC inaugurated the water turbine installed at AZRI, Bahawalpur under ALP Funded project entitled cultivation and promotion of Ispaghol in Cholistan desert of Bahawalpur. He also inaugurated the tree plantation campaign by planting the trees in the lawn and Cholistan farm of AZRI, Bahawalpur under the Prime Minister slogan of Green and Clean Pakistan.
f) Address to the scientists and staff:Finally the Chairman PARC addressed to the scientists and staff of AZRI, Bahawalpur and emphasized that to continue the good work and provide better services to the deprived farming communities of the remote/ under developed area of the Cholistan desert. He also asked about the problems/ constraints faced by the scientists and staff of the institute. The Director, AZRI, Bahawalpur briefed that each and every individual is contributing up to maximum extent under harsh climatic condition of Cholistan desert &very limited budgetary resources and will improve further under the guidance of the worthy Chairman and Member NRD PARC. He also thanks the worthy Chairman for his kind visit and future guidance.
(Malik Muhammad Yousaf)