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چھاپیے

Agricultural Innovation Program for Pakistan

 
 
Establishment of Provincial Agricultural Research Boards
in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh and Strengthening of PARB, Punjab
 
Broad-based economic growth, inclusive social development, and food security face a number of complex and urgent challenges in Pakistan. Many of these challenges – a ranging from rapid population growth to long-term effects of climate change – are well known and the subject of extensive discourse in the public arena, in government, and within communities throughout the country. However, the solutions to these challenges are complex.
 
Agricultural Innovation Program (AIP) for Pakistan is the product of a consultative process led by the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) in its capacity as the leading national facilitating and convening authority for science and innovation in agricultural development for Pakistan. All NARS partners including federal and provincial governments, universities, NGOs, private sector and civil society people were consulted in 2012 – 2013 during conceptualization of AIP.
 
This is a new USAID initiative funded through and managed by CIMMYT in partnership with PARC and other stakeholders. The goal of AIP is to increase crop productivity and production value of livestock, horticultural, and cereal crops; thus increasing income for Pakistan farmers. AIP will have direct effects on a large number of farmers through targeted commissioned projects. This is multi-institute program and designed to attract highly skilled staff of national and international repute including the involvement of other international centers as primary partners like ILRI, IRRI, AVRDC, and UC Davis to support agriculture research community in Pakistan in achieving the goal of the program.
 
AIP became more essential in view of the post-devolution scenario and the larger, more long-term realities of a changing agricultural sector landscape. Overall, the AIP
aims to have measurable impact on agricultural growth, food security for the poor, component of climate change resilience and adaptation in Pakistan’s agricultural sector. The program is much more than a research undertaking. Through this program, the governments of Pakistan and US intend to invest heavily in capacity strengthening to assist Pakistan in revitalizing its national research system and integrating the private and public sectors around pro-poor science, technology and innovation. The project would be a long-term, Pakistan-owned, Pakistan-led undertaking.
 
During conceptualization of “Agricultural Innovation Program” (AIP) of Pakistan followed by inception workshop held in May, 2013 in Islamabad, all NARS partners stressed for the establishment of Provincial Agricultural Research Boards in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh on the lines of Punjab Agricultural Research Board (PARB). PARC was entrusted the responsibility to create and establish provincial boards in these provinces and strengthening of Punjab Agricultural Research Board (PARB) and manage province-inclusive Competitive Grants System (CGS).
 
For the establishment of provincial boards similar to Punjab Agricultural Research Board (PARB), paper work for legislation is undertaken in consultation with provincial partners for enactment of Provincial Act to be passed by respective provincial assemblies. Each Board will have a Governing Body headed by provincial agricultural Minister and an Executive Committee headed by Chief Executive of the respective provincial board with clear mandate and functions.
 
Once the provincial AR4D boards are established and made functional, each board will have its own Board of Directors (BOD) and Executive Committee to run the affairs of board and implement the competitive grants by channelizing funds through boards to provinces. This will also bring more integration and help provinces to establish sustainable research funding bodies like PARB. These newly established boards will be supported to take over the responsibilities in a phased manner or whenever they are ready. For inter-board coordination a National Advisory Committee will be constituted having all heads/Chairmen of the Boards as its member to meet twice a year. Tentative budget estimates are given below:
 
 
The Program shall support research and development projects generally for the period up to 3 years with individual project budget not exceeding Fifty thousand US $. Each year, CGS will finance 15 to 20 projects throughout NARS.
 
PARC is to provide leadership in the establishment of Provincial Agricultural Research Boards in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh. These provincial boards will support the expansion of provincial linkages to greater national, regional, and international communities through an overarching mechanism of coordination; a strategy advocated by all three provinces during consultation process. The provincial boards will play a growing role in the administration of the competitive grants. PARC will also chair the National Advisory Committee (NAC) of AIP comprised of representatives of the provincial governments.
 
 
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1 In Punjab, PARB will advertise the call for inviting proposals and submit short listed proposals for approval of TAC and NAC. The yearly budget of approved proposals will be released to PARB for implementation and execution of the approved projects. For other provinces, PARC will call the 1st round till establishment of the boards. Once the provincial boards are established and made functional, each board will have its own management to run the affairs of board and implement the competitive grants by channelizing funds through boards to provinces.
 
 
 
 

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