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Training seminar on plant standards held by USDA

ISLAMABAD: The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently organised a two-day
training seminar on July 30, 2016, and July 31, 2016, to support the Pakistani Government's
efforts to expand agricultural trade. 
As many as 30 officials from the Department of Plant Protection and other agricultural
professionals from across Pakistan participated in the seminar.
The training was designed to increase Pakistan’s exports by apprising the officials with regard to
compliance with the international plant health standards. At present, Pakistan exports fresh fruits
and vegetables worth approximately $585 million every year, according to a statement issued
here on Monday.
US Embassy Agricultural Counsellor David Williams also remarked, "This training and similar
ones serve the dual purpose of helping expand the Pakistani export market and building closer
ties between our governments and people." He added, "We look forward to continuing our
cooperation with the Government of Pakistan to help increase fruit and vegetable exports to the
US market."
Punjab Agriculture Department Director General for Extension and Adaptive Research, Dr
Muhammad Anjum Ali said, "Learning about sanitary and phytosanitary measures from a team
of USDA, Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International, and other learned experts was a
unique experience." He further added, "I have gained a lot from the trainers and methodology."
Agriculture accounts for over 21 percent of Pakistan's GDP and is its second-largest sector. It
also remains, by far, the largest employer, which accommodates around 46 percent of the labour
force. For the nearly 62 percent of the Pakistani population in rural areas, agriculture is an
essential part of daily life. Hence, this training session was the latest step in the broader
collaboration between the United States and Pakistan established to enhance agricultural
productivity in Pakistan and to support economic growth and food security. U.S. Agency for
International Development has previously funded initiatives by USDA, Texas A&M University
and the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International to develop as many as 12 online
training modules to benefit both individuals and organisations working in the Pakistani
agricultural sector.


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