Food security: ‘Economy hinges on development of agriculture, livestock’

75% of population in Pakistan is dependent on agriculture.


Express July 11, 2011

ABBOTABAD:


There is a need to go beyond research and experiments because development of agriculture and livestock sectors could make the country economically well-off.


This was said by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Minister for Livestock and Cooperatives Hidayatullah Khan during a three-day agricultural development seminar titled “Changing environment and sustainable agriculture development” held at Peshawar University’s Bara Gali Abbottabad campus on Sunday.

University of Veterinary Sciences Vice-Chancellor Dr Muhammad Nawaz presided over the seminar while K-P Livestock Director General Dr Sher Muhammad, Abbottabad Agriculture
EDO Dr Abdul Waheed Alvi, agro-scientists and other
experts attended the seminar.

While urging agricultural scientists to take practical steps to bring about prosperity and economic betterment in the country through agriculture development, the minister said that 75 per cent of the population in Pakistan is dependent on agriculture, meaning that the sector needs to be developed further to tackle upcoming food insecurity challenges, which could expose the country to a crisis.

About K-P, the minister said the province was endowed with natural resources, water, agricultural land, and hardworking farmers. He emphasised the need for farmers and scientists to work together. “Research and experiments can only prove helpful once they are put into practice,” he said.

He added that experts must take a step forward if they want to change the destiny of the country and help make it self-sustaining.

Hidayatullah stressed the need for livestock and agriculture scientists to help keep a check on the use
of spurious medicines on cattle.

He said the Awami National Party-led provincial government is aying “proper attention” to agriculture and livestock and had allocated Rs645 million for livestock and Rs455 million for the agriculture sector in the 2011-12 budget.

He added that the government had also taken an initiative to train women in livestock-related fields to ease growing female unemployment.

Dr Muhammad Nawaz, Dr Zahoor Swati, Dr Muhammad Ashfaq, Dr Shamsher and Qaiser Mehmood were among the scientists who presented their research papers on the livestock and agriculture sectors in the seminar.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2011.

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