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November 29, 2020

‘Investment in agriculture research must be increased’

National

November 29, 2020

FAISALABAD: Punjab Agriculture Secretary Dr Asad Rahman Gilani has said that investment in agriculture research must be increased to avert agricultural crisis.

He was addressing the Dean and Directors meeting at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad in which UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan also spoke.

Asad Rahman Gilani said that climate changes, post-harvest losses and a lack of mechanisation were creating hurdles to get benefit from our potential. He said that the government was taking all possible measures to enhance the productivity and strengthen the agriculture sector which was a backbone of our economy.

He also lauded the efforts of the UAF for the combating the agricultural issues and giving out-of-the-box solutions.

He added that amid different challenges, including COVID-19 and locusts attack, the country GDP size had squeezed from $330 billion to $280 billion.

He said that the country was facing a massive decline in cotton production for some years.

He urged the agricultural experts to develop viable solutions to the problems of agricultural sector to increase productivity, value addition, mechanisation, post-harvest and others. He said that the affordable technologies must be developed to redress the grievance of the farming community.

Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that around half of our population was in the grip of malnutrition. We had to promote a blend of wheat with other cereals, including maize, that would help improve the nutrition issues at the national level, he added.

He said that the UAF had developed vision 2030 to meet the demands and challenges of the era.

He said that the UAF was working on the germ plasm that would make it climate resilient. He added that the UAF was collaborating with the University of Florida to bring the breakthrough in the strawberry by making its production adoptable in the chilling neutral environment.