Constructive ties between experts and policy makers of Indian and Pakistani Punjab would benefit both nations in addressing the daunting challenges of food security, water and poverty.
Addressing the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering & Technology on Saturday, Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, Vice Chancellor, University of Agriculture he lauded the Chief Minister Punjab Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif for donating an Indian tractor to UAF that was handed over to him during the visit of Deputy Chief Minister of Indian Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal as guest of Punjab Government in September this year.
Exchange of ideas and machinery would pave the way help the engineers and scientists of both provinces to work together and pull the poor farmers out of financial crises. Dr Iqrar A Khan described the Indian Tractor as gift in faith of good gesture. He said enormous trade opportunities exist between Pakistani and Indian Punjab as both provinces share common crops like wheat, cotton, corn basmati rice, climate conditions, canal system and agricultural machinery.
Dr Iqrar said the Punjab Government is giving special emphasis on helping the farming community to enable them grow more and assuring the purchase of their produces by the government despite the financial paucity.
Iqrar A Khan recalled his recent visit to Indian Punjab with Minister of Agriculture Malik Ahmad Ali Aulakh and other government functionaries to attend the golden jubilee celebrations of PAU, India, a great success and a pleasant window of further collaboration between both the provinces.
During to Indian Punjab visit, Dr Khan hailed the achievement of PAU and said that this is something appreciable as in Pakistan nobody has claimed that the cotton variety is resistant to leaf curl virus. “We would like to pursue this variety,” he said, adding that there is a good progress in maize cultivation in Pakistan.
Dr Khan said that the two nations are the importers of edible oil and pulses so we need to grow oil-seed crops as much we can to arrest the growing import bill of edible oil. He was of the view that both provinces could explore ways and means to export as well as import the goods of daily use as both sides offer a great potential for exports, especially for fruits and vegetables like mangoes, kinnows and tomatoes.