Gilgit-Baltistan Agriculture Minister Muhammad Kazim Masem on Tuesday said that a sub-campus of the University of Agriculture Faisalabad should be established in Gilgit-Baltistan to increase agricultural productivity and produce trained manpower in the region.
He was talking to University of Agriculture Faisalabad Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Asif Tanveer at meeting room of Vice Chancellor Secretariat. He said that although our homeland is blessed with four seasons, fertile land, and one of best ecosystem, but we are unable to tap potential from our climatic diversity in order to enhance our agriculture production. He said that agricultural experts and scientists should devise a comprehensive strategy and conduct researches to combat different issues in the agricultural sector.
He said that we were far lagging behind in the modern agriculture practices, value addition etc that was a matter of grave concern. He said that the in the post-harvest losses, the country was losing as many as 40 percent of its production. He added that the country can earn heavy foreign exchange by exporting agriculture goods after meeting the international standards.
He said that the country was the producing one the best tastes fruits like apricot, mulberry, citrus, grapes and cherry etc but owing to non-availability of value addition, we are not getting benefit from out potential. He said the diverse climatic conditions in Gilgit-Baltistan coupled with variations in altitude has led to an equally wide array of vegetation and ecological zones. He said that they would call the UAF scientists there to collaborate with farming community and agricultural experts to make the advancement in the agricultural avenue. He invited the Vice Chancellor and experts of agriculture, horticulture, agriculture sciences, energy and others to visit GB hosted by GB government to explore the potential of GB agriculture.
He said that the services of farming community were remarkable who worked day and night to provide the food for us. He also urged the University to increase GB students’ seats in the UAF admission criteria.