Islamabad: Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan Federal Minister for Ministry of National Food Security & Research has said that continuous sharing of experiences and innovative ideas amongst farmers and agricultural researchers as well as private sector will boost up the growth of agriculture sector.
The Federal Minister said this while speaking on the occasion of 2nd FAO-AAN (Alumni Associations Network) Share-Mela organized by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of United Nations and Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) here at the National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC).
Representatives from seventy five small-scale farmers’ organizations, 25 research institutions and from private sector enterprises participated in the Share-Mela and also set up stalls displaying various agricultural products.
The Federal Minister said that the Share-Mela will open up an opportunity for farming communities from across the country to share their valuable experiences and innovative ideas. The minister also said that organization of Share-Mela was a major step toward farmers’ involvement in innovative farming practices and enabling better access to new research results and the latest technological advancements in the farming sector.
The minister further stated that steps were being taken to make modern agricultural technology accessible to farmers and growers so that they could increase the yield of their farming fields. The minister reiterated that agriculture sector was the backbone of country’s economy and brining it on modern lines will ensure future food security and nutrition.
The Federal Minister also thanked FAO for organizing Share-Mela and for bringing various farmers’ associations and organizations into a network of farmers called AAN (Alumni Associations Network). The Minister expressed hope that agricultural economic growth will be expanded and strengthened with continuous interaction amongst farmers and researchers through the platform of AAN.
Patrick Evans FAO Representative in Pakistan, while speaking on the occasion, spelled out new policy framework of FAO in Pakistan over the coming years.
Mr. Evans said that in coming years, FAO will focus on four important areas viz. food security and nutrition, economic development, capacity building and disaster management.
Mr. Evans further stated that Pakistan has a great potential in the sector of agriculture. He also said that the biggest challenge to food security was the burgeoning population of the country which was expected to reach 350 million by 2050.
In order to meet the challenges of food insecurity and malnutrition, it was imperative that latest technological advancements and innovative techniques should be employed to improve the productivity of land, emphasized the representative.
Seerat Asghar Secretary Ministry of National Food Security, Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad Chairman, PARC and other high officials also attended the gathering.