Govt to set up food safety authority


LAHORE: Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikander Bosan attended a workshop on advances in agricultural biotechnology and regulatory affairs as a chief guest at Forman Christian (FC) College, Lahore.

The workshop was also attended by FC College University Rector Dr James Tebbe, Food and Agriculture Organisation Representative Mina Dowlatchahi, National Food Security and Research Ministry Senior Advisor Malik Zahoor and Punjab Agriculture Secretary Muhammad Mahmood.

The federal minister, while addressing the participants of the workshop, said that “holding of such a workshop is an important step in forging collaborations and for learning from each other”.

Sustainable agricultural productivity cannot be achieved without the input of modern science and technology, including biotechnology. However, modern agriculture means a lot more than what meets the eye, he said, adding that it is based on latest knowledge grounded in research that introduces technologies with acceptability by the farmers.

This kind of transformation may be easy to discuss in a classroom or a seminar but difficult to translate into action. A move from centuries-old traditional methods to technology-driven agricultural practices poses a huge challenge that needs extraordinary effort by extraordinary people who speak louder through actions than words. It is in this context that developments in agricultural biotechnology should be seen, said the minister.

He further highlighted that Prime Minister Khaqan Abbasi has approved the establishment of Federal Food Safety Authority called NAPHIS and added that this will further facilitate the development of all technologies related to food security. It will be brought up to the National Assembly for enactment very soon.

He also highlighted that the Zero Hunger Programme and other projects such as Kissan Package are efforts to ensure exports and availability of farm inputs at affordable prices to uplift the plight of small farmers, and to ensure that their nutrition and educational requirements are met.