“The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) is promoting research culture in Pakistan in order to enhance selected value chains that benefit the rural poor through improved productivity market and employment opportunities.” This was stated by Dr Barbara, Team Leader ACIAR Pakistan while calling on Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, Vice Chancellor UAF with her delegation on Tuesday.
She said the purpose of ACIAR initiatives was to support analysis that improved economic and natural resource management. Dr Barbara said that during baseline survey of rural areas of Sindh and Punjab provinces it was revealed that lack of credit facility, availability of inputs and inappropriate marketing were the core issues to the farming community.
Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that UAF social sciences faculty was involved in conducting social surveys to provide solid ground to formulate policies at federal and provincial levels, adding that proposed policy centre at UAF Campus would become a milestone to create solid foundation for policy making.
UAF VC was of the view that internationalisation was the need of hour to enhance the standards of education and research at R & D institutions level. Dr John Spriggs said that a baseline survey was conducted in a village of Sindh from mango growers while same survey was conducted in Punjab for dairy farmers and citrus growers as well. He hoped that results of those surveys would become a source of better initiatives to horticultural and dairy sector in Pakistan. Dr Izhar Ahmad Khan, Dr Babar Shahbaz and representatives of Narc Islamabad also spoke on the occasion.