Food security only if agriculture a profitable sector

It is a prerequisite to ensure adaptation of modern trends, and that stakeholders, including industry, academia, research, and the farming community, should make agriculture a profitable sector for food security, said University of Agriculture Faisalabad Pro Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Asif Tanveer.

Food security only if agriculture a profitable sector

By Qadeer Sikander Malik

He chaired a meeting of the Department of Entomology, the University of Agriculture Faisalabad, at the department’s meeting room.

He said that the university was making all possible measures to develop the demand-driven research work especially to address the problems of the agriculture sector.

He was of the view that the agriculture sector in the country was under the grip of different challenges including low productivity, noncertified seed issue, post-harvest losses, lack of mechanization, climate changes and others for which we have to take the measures to ensure the food security of the country.

He called for strengthening academic-industry linkages that will prove a milestone to develop a knowledge-based economy. He said that agriculture was the backbone of the economy which was contributing 19 percent to the Gross Domestic Product.

Entomology Chairman Dr Sohail Ahmad said that we have to jack up the per acre agriculture productivity in a bid to meet the demand of ever-increasing populations., He called for learning from other nations’ experiences also.

He said that no nation can make development without effective research and development (R&D) activities. He stressed the need to train the farming community about the latest trends in the agriculture profitable sector.

Prof Dr Jalal Arif said that we have to come up with viable solutions to address the agricultural challenges. He said that Integrated Pest Management approved by the National Assembly provides safe pesticides as it is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage with different techniques including biological control, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant variety.

He said that in the 80s, pesticide companies were giving advisory to the farming community. But they had stopped the practices for the last ten years. He said that due to many challenges, agriculture could not remain a profitable profession. For which, we have to use the integrational approach by involving all stakeholders.

Rashid Ahmad, Executive Director from CropLife Pakistan Association said that they developed and distributed crop protection and biotech products including insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and seeds.

He said that they advocated and promoted the responsible use of safe and environmentally friendly pesticides. He said that they are deeply concerned about the cotton, maize and rice crop losses in certain parts of Punjab.

He said that they fully understand the challenge faced by hardworking farmers and remain committed to serving them. He said that an exceptional shift in climatic conditions at a critical phase (pollination) of the crop has impacted the yields across the province

Agricultural experts Sarwar Rahi, Amir Bashir, Prof Dr Waseem Akram, Prof M Shahzad Basra, Dr Muhammad Arshad, Dr Dildar Googi, and other notables also attended the meeting.

Originally published at Daily times