Agri research key factor for achieving food security
Sardar Ghulam Mustafa said that the PARC had taken several initiatives for reforms in the NARS. He said the PARC would be taking care of germplasm availability, distribution and testing, rust initiatives, global interactions, improve national wheat research system and coordination with provincial research system; develop resource conservation technologies with collaboration of international research institutes.Sardar Mustafa said that recent paradigm shift from green to gene revolution, from conventional agriculture to high value agriculture and from domestic to global markets have underscored the need for strategic research on technologies which on the one hand are pro-small farmers, pro-poor and pro-nature, and on the other competitive in the global markets to restructure and reposition itself to deliver science based solutions for a more productive, profitable and sustainable agriculture development.
He apprized that the vision 2030 of Government of Pakistan (GOP) envisages “developed, industrialized, just and prosperous Pakistan through rapid and sustainable development in a resource constrained economy by deploying knowledge inputs”. This vision is being operationalzed through series of Medium Term Development Frameworks (MTDF) similar to five year development plans.
Sardar Ghulam Mustafa said that being an apex research organization at federal level responsible for conducting, coordination and promotion of agricultural research, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) has the mission of “Poverty reduction through science-based improvements in agriculture productivity, profitability, and competitiveness to ensure food and livelihood security for all in an environmentally sustainable manner”. He told that after 18th amendment in the constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Ministry of Food and Agriculture was devolved from July, 2011. However, realizing the significance and importance of agriculture sector. GoP constituted new Ministry with National Food Security and Research Division w.e.f. 26th October, 2011, with the goal to develop and implement strategies for national food security. Agriculture sector has a pivotal role in “Growth Strategy” and research has to generate technologies to achieve the goals set by Government, he added.
Sardar Mustafa said that keeping in view the current situation PARC proposed portfolio of Research for Agricultural Development Program (RADP) which was built around priority areas of agricultural research within its mandated research agenda to provide for food security and to achieve agricultural growth for prosperity. The RADP project under implementation exposed a positive impact on the economy of the country.