Science-based agri key to ensuring food security: Dr Iftikhar


Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Chairman Dr Iftikhar Ahmad has said that science based agriculture key to ensure food security in the country.
He expressed these views on Sunday while speaking at an international workshop “ Promoting Science and Innovation in Agriculture” organized by the Agriculture Department, Government of Sindh in collaboration with Donor agencies.
It is to be noted that due to devolution of agriculture and livestock to the provinces, the introduction of a New Framework for Economic Growth, and other long-term changes in the economy underscore the need for science-based decision-making and coordination while preparing agricultural policy.
In light of these challenges, PARC has initiated meticulous process of internal review in August 2011 that aimed to reprioritize and integrate all the activities of the Council and focus these on enhancing the resource productivity and overall efficiency of the agricultural sector in the country.
While addressing the participants of the meeting Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad apprized that after the 18th constitutional amendment, agriculture is the responsibility of the provincial governments. So, PARC is collaborating with the international donor agencies like IWMI, CIMMYT, IFPRI, ICARDA, USAID and provincial research institutes for development of agricultural research together with livestock sector.
Speaking on the occasion, M. Sohail Ahmad, , Sindh Agriculture Secretary, said that Govt of Sindh will provide all possible assistance to agricultural Experts and institutions. Dr Kingsley Bash, representative of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) gave an over view of Agricultural science, technology and innovation in Pakistan Challenges, Ideas and Opportunities. While Dr. Rick Ward, Representative of the CIMMYT highlighted the objectives of meeting.
The participants of the Workshop set recommendations which includes; the creation of a PARC coordination mechanism with the provincial research systems, including mechanisms for each of PARC’s main divisions; prioritization of research wherein PARC would work on selected areas and support the provinces in other areas, increased involvement of different stakeholders can contribute in developing the final output of a technology and a neutral, rather than competitive, role for PARC in awarding research projects. The meeting also provided detailed recommendations for research priorities within PARC’s main divisions.
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