Governor Rafique Rajwana on Wednesday urged agricultural experts to study the causes of low cotton production in 2015.
He was addressing the 23rd convocation of the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF).
The governor also asked the experts to devise ways for improving the quality of seeds. He said the government was committed to the uplift of the agriculture sector. He said it needed assistance from the experts in this regard.
Rajwana said he hoped that the efforts of the UAF would help usher a new green revolution in the country. “Agriculture is the backbone of our economy. A majority of the population relies on it for their livelihoods,” he said.
Addressing the women graduates, Rajwana said more and more women in the country were getting education but they were not seeking professional careers. “This is not letting the country benefit from their skills. I urge you to utilise your education by joining a professional career,” he said.
Rajwana said the dynamics leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had put the country on the path to economic development. “The government has strengthened the economy and improved the law and order situation. The energies and capabilities of the youth can now be used to further accelerate the process of development,” he said.
The governor urged the graduates to use their education to help people from financially stressed backgrounds. “They did not get the opportunity to attain higher education. You should pay back for getting this opportunity not just to the country and your parents but also to people from such backgrounds,” he said.
Rajwana advised the students to remain committed and honest and to always work hard if they wanted to be successful in their professional lives. He lauded the UAF’s contributions for growth of the agriculture sector in the country.
Speaking at the ceremony, UAF Vice Chancellor Iqrar Ahmad Khan said the UAF was the only university in the country ranked among the top 100 higher education institutes of the world.
Earlier, degrees were awarded to 4,890 graduates. Of these, 153 were doctorates of philosophy (PhDs), 667 master’s in philosophy (MPhil)/ master of sciences (MS), 2,448 master of arts (MA) and 1,622 bachelors of arts and sciences. He said the number of students enrolled in various degree programmes at the university was 23,000, of which 45 per cent were women. He said the number was 10,000 eight years ago. The university had introduced 42 new degree programmes in these eight years, he said.
He said 30 per cent students were receiving scholarships.
On collaboration with foreign donor agencies, the vice chancellor said a Centre for Advanced Studies in Food Security and Agriculture had been established at the university with financial assistance from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). On community engagement, he said the university had recently established a model cattle market in the area. He said UAF scientists were working on important national issues like cotton production and seed quality.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2016.
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