FAISALABAD: Food insecurity globally has taken a “nasty” turn as growth in grain production stood at 0.9% per annum against an increase in population of 1.7% annually. The situation demands immediate steps on the part of all stakeholders to wipe out hunger from the globe, said experts from Australia.
The two-member Australian Support Linkages Programme (ASLP) delegation held a meeting with University of Agriculture Faisalabad Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan. The Australian team comprised Professor Robert Fitzgerald and Sandra Heaney-Mustafa.
Talking about ASLP Phase II areas in Pakistan, Fitzgerald said the ASLP was meant to build Pakistan’s technical capacity to improve agricultural productivity. He said it is building linkages between the agricultural sectors of Australia and Pakistan in order to improve the livelihood of the rural poor in Pakistan.
The ASLP Phase II has contributed a total 12.95 million Australian dollars (Rs1.2 billion) over four years to agricultural research. He added that it enhanced the ability of Pakistan’s research, development and extension system to deliver targeted and practical research outputs to agribusiness and farmers, and to help change the lives of small farmers across Pakistan. He added that phase II will continue to focus on horticulture (mango and citrus) and livestock (dairy) enterprises.
The UAFs vice chancellor said that around 900 million people in the world were undernourished.
He stressed the need to use latest technology and practices in Pakistan to ensure food security. He also praised the support and steps of Australia to increase per acre yield in the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 2nd, 2013.
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