STAFF REPORT IBD: Pakistan is achieving self-sufficiency in agriculture production by the hard work of scientists, policymakers and farming community. The government has designed National Zero Hunger Programme and such policies which provide equal opportunities to all major stakeholders of the country to ensure national food security.

This was expressed by Abdul Basit Khan, Additional Secretary Food Security and Research, while addressing the august gathering of policymakers, donors and researchers.

In his remarks, PARC Chairman Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad said that Pakistan needs more investment in agricultural RandD, innovations and staffing to ensure food security in the country. The seminar was organized by PARC and International Food Policy Research Institute’s (IFPRI) Washington on “Trends in Public Agricultural Research and Development Investment and Staffing in Pakistan” at the PARC head office.

Prof. Jock Anderson from IFPRI presented an independent evaluation of PARC while Anwar Naseem from McGill University, Canada, gave an insight into the role of private-sector agricultural RandD in Pakistan. “Since there is a significant time lag between investing in research and reaping its rewards, agricultural RandD requires long-term commitments in sufficient and sustained funding and well-staffed research agencies,” said Gert-Jan Stads, ASTI Programme Coordinator.

Recent data reveals that public agricultural RandD spending in Pakistan has been far from stable and insufficient to keep pace with agricultural growth.

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