Govt’s PSDP reserves massive shares for agri, food sectors


The Federal Government in the Public Sector Development Programme 2012-13, has allocated Rs 495 million for ongoing and new projects of the of the Ministry of National Food Security Research and Rs 250 million for agriculture related projects being handled by Commerce and Ports and Shipping divisions. According to the government’s annual plan 2012-13, the Higher Education Commission, Industries Division, Science and Technological Research Division and Water & Power Division have various agriculture related projects.
Some of the projects of agriculture sector included in PSDP 2012-13 under ministries of National Food Security & Research, Commerce and Ports & Shipping are National Zero Hunger Action Programme, Research for Agriculture Development Programme, National Institute of Genomic and Advanced Bio-Technology, Pak-China Cooperation for Agriculture Research and Development, Indigenization of Hybrid Seed Production for Enhanced Crop Production, National Bio Saline Agriculture Programme,
Under the National Zero Hunger Action Programme, the Ministry of National Food Security and Research has launched “National Zero Hunger Action Programme”. The programme launched in collaboration with World Food Programme is aimed at attaining food security and reduce malnutrition in the country. The programme implies coordinated approach with several ministries to achieve its targets and will reach to 12 million food insecure people in one year (20% of total affected population) with a cost of $ 1.04 billion, of which 200 million is sanctioned by government of Pakistan while rest will be contributed by donors and other sources of funding. A total of 61 million people will be reached with total cost of us $ 16 billion dollars in five years time. For the programme a National Council for Food Security comprising of representatives of federal and provincial governments, private sector and civil society will be established. A consultative workshop has already been held in March 2012 to produce a set of guidelines and frameworks for National Zero Hunger Action Programme and the operational strategy. Under another project of Research for Agriculture Development Programme which is being implemented since 2007-08 by PARC and aims at developing demand driven research solutions and innovations based on various themes in different sectors like Crop Sciences, Natural Resources, Animal Sciences and Social Sciences.
Out of total 91 development projects approved for financing under this project, 45 have been completed while the remaining 46 are under implementation. The capacity of 510 scientists has been built through local and foreign trainings. More than 10,000 local & exotic germ plasm lines were acquired, evaluated and distributed as well as research laboratories at NARC being strengthened through procurements of latest scientific equipments. Due to financial constraints the estimated expenditure up till 2011-12 was around Rs 1070 million which is 36% of the total cost (Rs 2.97 billion) of the project. The allocation for 2012-13 is Rs 170 million. In the National Institute of Genomic and Advanced Bio-Technology project with purpose of establishing this Institute at NARC campus is to support research and development activities by providing available techniques in genomics and biotechnology to the scientists.
Constructions of office building and laboratories are almost complete. DNA finger printing work on rice, grapes and groundnut have been established which will help in developing molecular passport of our verities.