International Workshop Held at PMAS-AAUR

Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said on Wednesday that agriculture is the backbone of Pakistan economy. It is the need of the time to shift agriculture on modern trends to make Pakistan a food sufficient country and to enhance water storage capacity in order to meet water related issues.


He stated this while addressing as chief guest at the inaugural ceremony of the three days (September 30, to October 2, 2015) international workshop on “Sustainable Agriculture Water Management in a Changing Environment- A special Focus on Olive Tree”, here at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR.


Federal Minister emphasized the significance of olive cultivation and said that Potohar area has great potential for it. He further said that new initiative to promote olive cultivation in Pakistan would help to generate better income for farmers in the country. Olive is a high-value agricultural product, which could also bring in the much-needed foreign exchange, if exported to other markets, he added.


He stressed the need for focusing on value addition, as the country has still commodity-based economy and no attention has been given towards value addition.  He said that high value agricultural products would help to generate better income for farmers in the country.


He appreciated the efforts of PMAS-AAUR for producing highly educated, trained and inspired manpower and said that university is playing pivotal role in modernizing agriculture and enlightenment of rural communities in Pakistan and abroad.


While talking about higher education, Federal Minister said that present government is also focusing on education sector which is reflecting from the increase in budget from Rs 48 billion to Rs. 78 billion for higher education in last two years. He further said that government is also trying to establish universities or their sub campus in all districts of Pakistan to give access of higher education to the youth of the country in next two to three years.  He said ten thousands PhDs will also be pass out in next ten years.


Federal minister Ahsan Iqbal also planted a tree and performed the groundbreaking ceremony regarding construction of Faculty of Agricultural Engineering & Technology (AE&T) at the University campus. The establishment of AE&T faculty project having total cost Rs.751 million and would significantly contribute to improve agricultural technology as well as educational infrastructure at PMAS-AAUR. The duration of the project is three years.


Earlier, PMAS-AAUR, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad, in his welcome address, elaborated the aims and objective of the workshop and emphasized the significance of Olive cultivation for the economy of Pakistan and said that high value agricultural products will help to generate better income for farmers in the country. He urged the scientists to play their role to create awareness in farming community about the latest techniques in the agriculture and insisted that the farmers should adopt the latest techniques of production and value addition in their produce, so that they can earn more and export as well.