STAFF REPORT LHR: The Executive Committee meeting of farmers Associates Pakistan (FAP) highlighted the role of research and innovation in instigating sustainable growth in the agriculture sector and economic uplifting of rural communities in the Punjab province and quoted the World Bank report which suggested that the innovation system in the province has contributed about half of the overall 3 per cent growth in the agriculture sector since 1971.
Dr. Mubarik Ali explained the constraints in agricultural research and innovation system which include little and inappropriate investment on research, lack of coordinated planning, monitoring and evaluation, focus on routine rather than problem-solving research and little commercialization of research outputs.
“The constraints slowed down the agriculture research during the last decade which resulted in increased production- and marketing-costs, and turned the sector uncompetitive in international markets,” he informed the meeting.
The PARB was created to overcome some of these constraints, but unless private sector like FAP, politicians and government take keen interest in boosting the solution-based research and innovation system in the province, the agriculture sector will continue growing at 2-3 per cent instead of its potential of 6-8 per cent annual growth.
Dr. Tariq Bucha, President FAP, suggested that the Crop Committees of FAP should closely interact with PARB so that it can better focus on priority issues that can benefit a larger group of farmers and farming communities.

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