The University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) and the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau International (CABI) have inked a memorandum of understanding to establish a plant diagnostic window to provide quality information and analyse plant diseases, pest management and nutrient deficiencies for the farming community.
A ceremony was organised in this regard by the Department of Entomology at the UAF. UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan and CABI Regional Director Dr Muhammad Shafiq signed the agreement.
Faculty of Agriculture Dean Professor Dr Muhammad Arshad, Entomology Chairman Professor Dr Jalal Arif, Professor Dr Anjum Sohail and Director External Linkages Professor Dr Ashfaq Chatha were also present.
Speaking on the occasion, Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that UAF’s Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Institute of Soil will work together to extend the diagnostic services to the farming community in the form of mobile and stationed plant health clinics.
He said the agrarian productivity can be boosted manifold by transferring modern technologies to the small farmers comprising 90% of the farming community in Pakistan.
He said that a lab for animals was already working at the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences. He called for stepping up efforts to educate the masses about better management to increase their income in particular and to enhance the country’s agricultural production in general.
He said that Pakistan was losing 25% to 40% of its crops in the post-harvest process. Keeping this in view, it is the need of the hour to educate the farmers about latest practices to combat the food security challenges.
Faculty of Agriculture Dean Dr Muhammad Arshad said that the university will make all out efforts to address the productivity issues of the farming community.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2013.