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Organic Agriculture Policy will play a pivotal role to boost the domestic organic industry; Syed Fakhar Imam

Islamabad, September 21, 2021. CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International) Regional Bioscience Centre Pakistan is leading in the initiative to promote organic agriculture in Pakistan through the development of organic agriculture policy and supply chains of high-quality organic seed and essential bio-inputs under the umbrella of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFS&R). In this connection, Launching Workshop on Building the Policy Ecosystem for Organic Production Landscape in Pakistan was organized in Islamabad on 21st September, 2021.

This launching workshop of organic agriculture policy was intended to form a national working group to build the policy ecosystem for the organic production landscape in Pakistan for organic Agriculture promotion. The workshop was held under the Chairmanship of Federal Minister for  National Food Security and Research (MNFS&R) Syed Fakhar Imam along with representatives from the federal, provincial governments and private sector (seed, bio-inputs companies, dealers, manufacturers, farmers associations and organic farmers) to acknowledge the emerging demand of the organic agriculture landscape and its role in poverty alleviation and climate change mitigation, the stakeholders accorded the importance of organic agriculture policy and the availability of organic seed and bio-inputs to make organic agriculture sustainable and provided suggestions regarding organic agriculture policy development. As outcomes, project aims to develop organic agriculture policy and national organic standards, transformation of institutional approach from conventional to organic agriculture techniques. It is also envisioned that business development at local level for seed and bio-inputs would be supported and serves as pillar for organic agriculture landscape development.

Federal Minister, Syed Fakhar Imam, Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFS&R) appreciated the CABI’s efforts to lead policy development work regarding organic agriculture production. He also assured full support in establishing the national working group with members from the federal, provincial government and private sector to develop the organic agriculture policy for Pakistan through MNFS&R. He added that the development of the Organic Agriculture Policy will play a pivotal role to boost the domestic organic industry.

Chairman PARC Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan also shed light on the importance of Organic Agriculture Policy development in context of national organic agriculture sector development and ensured the technical support to develop organic agriculture policy. Pakistan’s immense potential in the organic agriculture ecosystem can play an important role in fighting poverty and climatic change. There is a dire need to promote organic agriculture for safe and healthy food to local and international populations; efficient water management practices for future generations and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the chemical-intensive conventional agriculture production system.

Dr Babar E. Bajwa, Senior Regional Director Asia, CABI briefed the participants about the importance of the transformation of agriculture from conventional to organic in the context of food safety, climate change and exports. He elaborated how the emerging demand for organic products in the international market developed opportunities for Pakistani organic products such as cotton. He also pointed out the potential of organic agriculture to mitigate the threats due to climate change and increase the sustainability of the agricultural production system by minimizing the use of chemical inputs, fertilizers, and pesticides as well as making agriculture more environmentally sustainable and economically viable.

In the closing session, Dr Khalid Abdullah, Cotton Commissioner, MNFS&R, shared the consolidated feedback/suggestions received from the stakeholders during the workshop. The national working group will be finalized through the nominations collected from this workshop to develop the Organic Agriculture Policy under the umbrella of MNFS&R.

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