Technological transfer, mechanization main factors for agro economic success: Fakhar

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ISLAMABAD, June 20 (DNA): Technological transfer, mechanization,
institution building and transfer of seed technology are the main
factors for agro economic success.

Quaid e Azam has dreamt a prosperous Pakistan and agriculture plays
important role in our economy. This was said by Federal Minister for
National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam on Saturday while
chairing meeting of NFS&R Think Tank.

Federal Minister also mentioned that the concept of attaching think
tanks with ministries have been approved by Prime Minister Imran Khan to
find solutions of key issues. The focus of think tank is to raise the
production of key strategic products.

Federal Minister also added that after 18th amendment, country’s agro
economy has changed because of devolution of power to provinces. He was
of the view that country’s population is increasing. So we need to
increase our per hectare production. He asked to make a mechanism
through which farmers can practice applied research in the fields.

Syed Fakhar Imam stressed on the three pillars of Agricultural system –
research, extension and agricultural higher education – as the
agricultural knowledge triangle and suggest that this triangle should be
planned and sequenced as a system rather than as separate entities.
Later on Secretary NFS&R, Omar Hamid briefed the participants about
potential issues of Food Security.

It was discussed that purpose of creation of Think Tank of sectoral
experts to continue evolving situation. It is the need of time to engage
stake holders and to provide quality and diversity. During meeting, Dr.
Ashraf, VC Agriculture University, Faislabad mentioned that as per FAO
data of last year, Pakistan is ahead of India in case of cotton and
maize production.

He said research should be focussed on cotton seed. Even the research
should be consortium based. The nutritious food security should be given
importance. Dr. Rizwan, a participant from Agriculture University,
Peshawar mentioned about issue of climate change. He also asked to
control smuggling of food to neighbouring countries.

Dr. Sulehri, head of SDPI mentioned about other things like agri zoning
and crop insurance. He requested Federal Minister to pilot crop
insurance in few vulnerable areas. He also focussed on early warning
system for locusts. He drew attention of Federal Minister on Beijing
Hybrid Wheat Seed. It is a drought resistant seed. Federal Minister
enquired about field trials of these seeds.

Dr. Irfan, VC Agriculture University, Multan replied that these seeds
are trialled for 1 year in KPK, Sindh and Punjab. On the other hand, Dr.
Khursheed, Livestock and Husbandry Commissioner mentioned there is a
dire need of livestock census. He mentioned that live stock industry is
driven by dairy industry.

Right now only 6% of milk is processed and there is a need to increase
it upto 30%.He also said that beef/mutton breed should be given
importance. Poultry sector fulfills need of Pakistan and Afghanistan as
well. He mentioned that livestock shares 8% of total export pie of
country, resulting in USD 400 to 500.Federal Minister enquired about
vaccine of foot and mouth disease of cattles.

Dr. Khursheed replied that 25mn dose of vaccine is imported, while 5 to
6 mn doses are domestically made. Federal Minister concluded the meeting
on the note of hope that things will change positively for agricultural
sector in future and farmers will be prosperous He concluded that
Pakistan has best irrigation system on which agriculture dependents.
Pakistan just need to increase value addition. DNA