Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Bosan on Monday said that Pakistan was looking forward to enhancing its partnership with United States in agriculture sector for improving productivity of various crops.
“The US-Aid has done a great job in Pakistan enriching agriculture growth”, he said while addressing the inaugural session of annual conference on ‘Agriculture innovations’. “There is great potential of bilateral cooperation for developing agriculture sector through use of latest technology.”
The Conference was jointly organized by US-AID, CIMMYT and Pakistan Agriculture Research Council. The inaugural session was also addressed by Dr, John Groarke, Mission Director USAID-Pakistan, Dr. Martin Kropff, Director General CIMMYT and Saeerat Asghar, Federal Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research.
The conference during its two-day deliberations was scheduled to take wide-ranging agenda, including discussion on US-Pakistan partnership, a review on US-AID funded projects, innovations for enhanced livestock productivity, vegetable production, interventions in perennial horticulture in Pakistan, strengthening national agriculture research system and innovation in rice production.
The Minister further said the federal and provincial governments have taken number steps to increase agriculture productivity and in this connection the support of the U.S government is highly appreciable. He hoped that the growing collaboration between the farming community and other stake-holders will have good impact on increasing productivity.
Sikandar Bosan reiterated the government’s commitment taking all possible steps for improving the lot of agriculture community. Ensuring food security is number one priority of the government and all possible avenues will be explored for this purpose, he added. Federal government used to allocate billions for agriculture in the national budget; however, following the 18th Amendment, the resources are diverted to provinces and handed over to them to improve the sector’s performance through maximum possible investment.
Secretary Agriculture also spoke about strategies to improve resources and development in the agriculture industry. Bosan said that the country has not taken advantage from the agriculture sector in accordance with its enormous potential and added that provinces are better placed to help boost the sector.
The minister also expressed satisfaction over the longstanding partnership between CIMMYT and Government of Pakistan and also appreciated the launching of projects by CIMMYT for crop improvement in Pakistan.
US-AID Mission director said they believe their agriculture projects will continue to contribute to the growth of Pakistan’s economy. Working together with a strong cadre of local farmers, agribusinesses and policymakers, the United States and Pakistan’s joint efforts in agriculture development will contribute to a stronger, brighter future for all Pakistan.”