The provincial assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has passed KP Agricultural Research Institutes Reforms Bill, 2022 to upgrade and grant financial autonomy to such institutes and improve their performance, efficiency and effectiveness in terms of service delivery and harnessing potential of the agricultural research sector in the province.

PA passes KP Agricultural Research Institutes Reforms Bill, 2022

The act shall be extended to the whole of the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Agricultural Research Institute, Tanab Peshawar and Agricultural Research Institute, Mingora Swat and shall come into force at once. The provincial government after promulgation of the Act would reorganize the already established institutes and listed in the schedule and would be known as KP Centre of Excellence. The government may, if deem appropriate, declare any other existing Agricultural Research Institute, fulfilling the prescribed criteria, to be the Centre of Excellence, by making amendment in the schedule and would apply the provisions of this Act to such Centre. Agricultural Research Institutes Reforms Bill,, Furthermore, the government may from time to time establish new Centres of Excellence by amending the schedule and apply the provisions of the Act to them. Each Centre would be a body corporate having perpetual succession and common seal with power to acquire, hold and dispose of moveable and immovable property and may in its name sue and be sued. The Centre of Excellence established under this Act of law would be responsible for goal oriented agricultural research, generating knowledge and disseminate the finds thereof for the development of agriculture sector of the province; develop evaluate, select and introduce new and improved varieties with greater income potential, higher yields, better quality and resistance to disease, insect pests and tolerance to stress conditions.

It would acquire, maintain and preserve germplasm; develop appropriate crop improvement and production technologies systems, which are cost effective, enhance farm income, promote environmental sustainability, preserve natural resource base and enhance fertility status of soils in different agro ecological zones of the province. It would develop hygienic, efficient and economical propagation techniques of scion and rootstock varieties and provide certified propagules, budwood and mother plants to the private sector for further multiplication as certified fruit plant saplings; produce various seed classes of varieties and hybrids, for further multiplication by public sector organizations and private seed companies and cultivation by the growers. The Centre of Excellence would also conduct adaptive research trials on farmers’ fields for transfer of technology and to determine various constraints affecting yield potential and with emphasis on sustainability and minimum interference with the environment. Agricultural Research Institutes Reforms Bill, It would also study the biology of important diseases, insect pests and weeds, develop economical control measures with emphasis on integrated disease, pests and weeds management; develop technology for produce storage, preservation and processing with a view to reduce post-harvest losses, utilizing wastes and increasing products range and evaluating new cultivators of crops for making different products. The centre would determine the biochemical composition and conduct quality testing of crops and their products; publish agriculture research results and produce technical publications based on research conducted; provide advisory services to agriculture extension staff, development projects, farmers’ associations, private entrepreneurs, agribusinesses and agro-based industry including the production and distribution of extension and advisory material.

The centre would also be mandated for organizing workshops, seminars, symposia, trainings, refresher courses, field days for staff of research, extension, development projects, farmers and students of agriculture sciences for the transfer of technology. It would also conduct contractual research for government, non-governmental organizations, private sector, and cooperatives: create viable linkages with national and international agriculture research institutions and organizations for knowledge sharing and coordinated research endeavours. The centre would also enter into a contractual arrangement with other agriculture research organizations and private sectors involved in agriculture for specific partnerships; and perform such other functions pertaining to agriculture research, as are assigned to it by the government or the department from time to time. Agricultural Research Institutes Reforms Bill, A 12-member Board of Governors would be formed to administer and manage the affairs of the Centre. Seven members of the board would be selected from the private sector while five from public sector. Members from public sector would include the representatives of the Agriculture, Planning & Development, Finance and Establishment Departments no below the rank of an Additional Secretary and the Director General (DG) Agriculture Research, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Members from the private sector include eminent technical and professional persons in their respective fields having at least twenty years of relevant experience and significant aptitude for improving the agribusinesses would be appointed and notified by the government on the recommendation of the search and nomination council. The private sector representatives may include individuals from agriculture profession, farming, seed industry, agriculture service providers, agribusinesses, representatives of civil society, renowned philanthropist and services such as, legal, finance, economics and management. The chairman would be elected by the members from private sector through voting from amongst themselves, who would preside over the Board meetings. In case of his absence, the chairperson may nominate a board member as acting Chairperson or if he has not done so, the private members present shall elect an acting Chairperson for that meeting.

Source: This news is originally published by brecorder

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