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FAO to improve cotton & agricultural research through Technical Cooperation Program: Syed Fakhar Imam

Honorable Federal Minister, Syed Fakhar Imam chaired a meeting with delegation of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of United Nations. Ms. Rebekah Bell, FAO Representative in Pakistan and Mr. Aamir Irshad FAO Assistant Representative attended the meeting. Dr. Javed Humayun, Sr. Joint Secretary M/o NFS&R was also participant of the meeting.

It is added that earlier FAO was requested by M/o National Food Security & Research to make arrangement for conducting performance evaluation of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) and Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC) along-with preparing a strategic plan for restructuring or strategic business plan to make them more efficient and effective entities.

The honorable Federal Minister Syed Fakhar Imam apprised the participants of the meeting and said that both PARC and PCCC are facing austere financial and administrative issues. Especially after the 18th constitutional amendment, funding steams and policy regimes for PARC and PCCC had been inconsistent due to evolving post – devolution policy ramifications.  Against this backdrop, MNFS&R requested FAO, Pakistan to undertake latest assessment of PARC and PCCC’s role, activities and program along-with to develop an integrated strategic plan of PARC and PCCC for next five years to enhance institutional relevance and effectiveness as FAO is a trusted strategic partner of MNFS&R and has successfully undertaken the similar exercise in past for PARC. Moreover FAO has relevant expertise in carrying out assessment and strategic planning process for PARC and PCCC.

The honorable Federal Minister was also of the view that FAO Pakistan will be the budget holder, procure the required inputs and field various consultants for studies and technical assistance. The project will be implemented by FAO Pakistan in collaboration with M/o NFS&R and its organizations; PARC and PCCC. The Govt. of Pakistan through the MNFS&R, PARC and PCCC will provide their contributions to the implementation of the project. National and International Consultant will also be hired to implement project activities. He also appreciated the Chinese Agriculture Technologies as role model for neighbor countries which can ensure to achieve food security goals in Pakistan. The honorable Federal Minister also requested Ms. Rebekah Bell, FAO Representative in Pakistan to support Pakistan’s agriculture through Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). FAO Rep. requested to spare some time to hold a meeting in next week.

Delegates from FAO showed their willingness to support and extend assistance for in-depth. In the end of meeting Honorable Federal Minister appreciated the response of FAO attending this very important meeting. The meeting ended with the vote of thanks from Honorable Federal Minister for NFS&R Islamabad.

(Ghulam Shabbir Mirza)
Incharge (PR&P) PARC
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