Ambassador of the Netherlands to Pakistan Wouter Plomp on Tuesday said that agriculture sector was the most important sector as food security was a growing concern due to impacts of climate change and rapid increase in population.
Talking to the master trainers of a project “Capacity Building of small scale potato growers in the Punjab” at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF), he said that Netherlands Enterprise Agency was supporting the project which was helping increase productivity and sustainability of 950 smallholder potato growers in four districts of Punjab including Sahiwal, Okara, Kasur and Pakpattan.
He said that the agriculture subject had gained the importance in order to feed the ever-growing population that may touch 10 billion by the end of this century. Pakistan had great potential to promote its agriculture due to its huge fertile lands etc. He said that the Netherlands was one fifth of the Punjab but it was the one of the top food exporters due to latest agriculture tools, practices, and research. He said that education in Netherlands was very affordable and Pakistani students should get benefit from it.
UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said,”We have to lower down dependency on wheat and need to bring food diversification”. He said that food security was the area of the concern for the people and the strengthened ties with Netherlands in the area of agriculture would bring the tangible results. He said that there was a need to learn from Netherlands experiences. He said that the potato project was the hallmark that was focusing on women farmers also. He said that the county could earn the heavy forex by exporting potatoes. Potatoes were also being used as the staple food in some countries, he added.—APP