ISLAMABAD: Agriculture experts here on Wednesday stressed the need for launching short- and long-term training courses for young scientists at advanced research institution in both national and international level to lure them towards agriculture for sustainable economic development.
Addressing the ‘Regional Workshop on Youth and Agriculture: Opportunities and Challenges’, they asked for involving the young scientists in decision making bodies. They asked for encouraging young scientists for grant of patents and innovation creating information and communication facilities to discourage the repetitive research as well as for timely scientific accounting of the scientists. For taking the research to the end users, they emphasized on joint research with the private sector through creation of excellent research infrastructure.
Speaking on the occasion, Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFS&R) Secretary Seerat Asghar Jaura said that youth plays a decisive role in any country’s progress and prosperity adding youth forms around 27 percent of national population. He further said that the greatest challenge in agriculture in Pakistan and regional countries is that the youth is shying away from willingly finding a career in agriculture due to lower return and fewer opportunities. He emphasised for providing entrepreneurial opportunities to the people living in the villages by creating conducive environment for the value addition of agriculture products through promotion of cottage industry.
Addressing the workshop, Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) Chairman Dr Iftikhar Ahmad asked the Asia Pacific region to put their resources together to promote the agriculture sector for poverty alleviation and prosperity of their respective countries. He also highlighted CGIAR and NARS systems, strong partnership, capacity of local systems. He said CGIAR is a forum of international technical experts to help the member countries. He said there is really need to bring about sizeable innovations. He said we have to contribute to knowledge in global science. Innovations in agri science are important to increase production. Pakistan and FAO provide technical expertise to other countries. He also stressed for sustainable and solid partnership in term of science and other manners.
Asia Pacific Association for Agriculture Research Institutions (APAARI) Executive Secretary Dr Raj S Paroda said that agriculture industry has ample opportunities for youth as service providers, technology expert and micro irrigation .He also asked for addressing the gender issues and empowering the women to address the nutrient security. He said we would need capable human resources of farmers, private sector, scientists, extension workers especially young people who retain their interest in agriculture.
APAARI Director General Dr Simon Hearn said that world facing various challenges including food security. Every generation has to generate for the next generation.
PARC (Plant Sciences) Member Dr M Shahid Masood in his vote of thanks said that the government of Pakistan holds for R&D activities in the agriculture sector. The government understands its responsibilities and is committed to create peaceful, stable, free and prosperous environments in which people can feed themselves with dignity. As a result of the successful macro economic and agriculture policies, Pakistan’s economy is well poised for a sustained high growth, poverty reduction and food security for all. The agriculture being one of the major sectors of the economy and mainstay of rural population has a leading role to play. He also thanked all speakers, participants and organisers for their commitment and chief guest for sparing time for this important event.
NARC DG Dr M Azeem Khan, (PARSA) President Dr Tariq Hassan, Director (IC) Dr M Altaf Sher and other speakers also addressed the participants of the workshop and highlighted various aspects of challenges to agriculture.
The event was organised by PARC in collaboration with APAARI and GFAR, ICARDA, ICRISAT, FAO, IFPRI, Bioversity International, CIMMYT, and ACIAR aiming to share the regional and international knowledge and experiences to encourage the youth in agriculture industry.
Courtesy Daily Times