Punjab Agricultural Research Board (PARB) has approved Rs 450 million for the year 2012-13 to fund high priority research projects in Crops, Livestock, Forestry and Fisheries sectors under Competitive Grant System (CGS). The budget will be utilised to run ongoing as well as to fund 30 news projects. PARB shall allocate 70% of its available funds on CGS with open merit while 30% shall be funded on emerging high priority issues through Board approval.
Approval to this effect was given at the 27th board meeting of the Punjab Agricultural Research Board (PARB). The meeting held under the Chairmanship of Minister for Agriculture Punjab Malik Ahmed Ali Aulakh in PARB’s Committee room, says a spokesperson of the Board here on Thursday.
Aulkah in his opening remarks said that the current government assigns specific place to PARB in the co-ordination and planning of agricultural research. He informed that the Punjab Chief Minister has approved the nominations of two new MPA, VC UAF and VC PMAS Arid University Rawalpindi as members of the Board. The government revamped PARB in 2007 and with in a span of just few years 53 research project worth Rs 1 billion in crops and livestock sector.
“We have to utilise resources in proper way as not to waste nation’s money. He informed that the Punjab Government has laid foundation stone of Agriculture University in Multan, well equipped with all necessary infrastructures and facilitates for students by all means. Agriculture being the money generating and important sector is on priority of the Punjab Government and the promotion of research will be beneficial for farmers community in general and Pakistan’s prosperity in particular”, he added.
The minister directed that Forestry and Fisheries projects should also be included in upcoming PARB’s project. PARB Chief Executive Dr Mubarik Ali said that the Board has shortlisted 200 projects of high priority area and out of this, 30 will be funded soon that would have Forestry and Fisheries projects as well. Secretary Forestry Shah Nawaz Badar informed that they have series of meetings with PARB in this regard and would submit their projects very soon.
The Board also decided to include Director General (Ext) L & DD Department and Director ORIC UAF in the Executive Committee of PARB. Dr Ali told that PARB travel’s grant opportunity was a good activity for the scientists to present their research papers and publications at international level. The Board has received a letter through which it was informed that the Punjab Government has banned foreign trips due to scarcity of funds. VC UAF Dr Iqrar Ahmed informed that during last year about 190 scientists were sent abroad and out of this many were funded by PARB.
He stressed to restart this activity and facilitate scientists in maximum capacity. Chief Economist (P&D) informed that partial funding is available from many sources which can be availed by scientists. Minister for Agriculture Punjab Malik Ahmed Ali Aulakh directed to send a summary to Chief Minister with justification of continuity for this activity. Dr Mubarik Ali mentioned that scientist’s representation at international level not only establish collaboration with international organisations that would be helpful for future research but also a learning opportunity for scientists.