STAFF REPORT IBD: Spending on agriculture research in Pakistan is lowest even by regional (Asian) standards, let alone the world ones.
“This lack of funding has deprived farmers of higher productivity benefits,” said Punjab Agriculture Research Board (PARB) Chief Executive Dr Mubarik Ali while speaking at a consultative meeting with agricultural media reporters.
He pointed out that the country was investing between 0.25 to 0.29 per cent of agriculture GDP on research, whereas India was investing 0.4 per cent, Bangladesh 0.35 per cent, China 0.6 per cent and Japan 2.5 per cent. On the other hand, developed world was investing 2 to 3 per cent on RandD, he added.
The PARB chief claimed that inappropriate use of funds, obsolete research infrastructure and little or no incentives for innovation are impeding agriculture growth in the country. The root cause of problems includes little investment on research, inappropriate investment, lack of coordinated planning and lack of monitoring and evaluation.
To overcome research related problems, he said, the PARB is now poised to plan, coordinate, fund, monitor and commercialise specific agriculture research outputs in Punjab.
Prof Talat Naseer Pasha, Vice-Chancellor of University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS), said that research work in education institutions is now being better coordinated and expedited after setting up of PARB.
Dr Tariq Bucha, president of Farmers Associates Pakistan (FAP), stressed the need for increasing interaction between scientists and farmers.

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