FAISALABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Agriculture Minister Masood Khalid has called for establishing a sub-campus of the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) in Azad Kashmir, believing it will help produce skilled agricultural manpower and conduct valuable researches to boost agricultural economy of the region.
Speaking at the concluding session of a three-day Entomological Congress and Farmers’ Convention held at the Iqbal Auditorium of UAF, Khalid said the AJK government would provide funds and land for the purpose.
The minister said agricultural experts and scientists should devise a comprehensive strategy and conduct research to combat different challenges in the agriculture sector. He urged the university to increase the number of seats for AJK students in the UAF admission criteria.
Khalid asked the youth to put in efforts for upgrading their skills and playing their role in steering the country out of crisis.
Speaking on the occasion, UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Zafar Iqbal Randhawa said the university would prepare PC-I of establishing the sub-campus and present it to the government for consideration.
He said the university was currently running three sub-campuses - one each in Okara, Burewala and Toba Tek Singh.
Moreover, DG Pest Warning and Quality Control Dr Zafar Yab Haider underscored the need for promoting modern plant protection practices, including integrated pest management, for increase in productivity and public safety.
Ayub Agricultural Research Institute DG Dr Abid Mehmood, on the other hand, cautioned that excessive use of pesticides was having a negative impact on the health of people and causing ailment among them. “The trend needs to be curtailed.”
Dean Faculty of Agriculture Dr Muhammad Aslam said the country lacked reliable data on pest.
UAF Chairman Dr Mansoorul Hassan Sahi said despite having potential in the agriculture sector, “we are importing agricultural produce worth billions of rupees”. He emphasised that modern agricultural trends and practices were vital to increase productivity and develop agriculture rapidly.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 11th, 2019.
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