Seminar on Small Farmers Access to Resources and Knowledge Issues & Options held at PMAS-AAUR

A seminar on Small Farmers Access to Resources and Knowledge Issues & Options held at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) in collaboration with Lok Sanjh Foundation (LSF), with an aim to enhance the capacity building of small farmers, here on Tuesday.


On the occasion, PMAS-AAUR Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad was the chief guest while Deans, Directors, faculty members, a large number of students and farmers of different area were also attended the seminar.


In his address, Prof. Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad highlighted that how much farmer’s issues are important and their answers that are required from the scientists’ community to enhance the small famers’ capacity building. He announced that all the farmers nominated by the Lok Sanjh Foundation would be provided training in KOICA Building. He promised that the water problem of this region would surely be settled. An olive valley is being established by giving olive plants to farmers so that their livelihood could be addressed. Vice Chancellor also emphasized on the hard work of teachers, researchers and faculty by giving the example of farmers who are working day and night for the food security of our nation. A number of success stories and farmer related research products were introduced by the Vice Chancellor. He also appreciated the work of LSF in promoting organic farming. He also said that seeds and fruit plants would be provided by the university through LSF and then registered farmers would supply that seeds and plants to others as per certification of the University.


Representative of LSF, Ms. Farzana Shahid, in her address, spotlighted the collaboration and achievements of the both institutions in order to empower the small farmers and their efforts to enhance their capacity building to increase productivity, efficiency and effectiveness. She also acknowledged and appreciate the unflinching efforts of Dr. Shahid Zia and Dr. Ria Niaz Ahmad to focus the small farmers and improve their living standard through learning by doing. She said that farmers know about their land, sowing and bowing crops, output and social order also but they need help in order to solve their issues. Producer becomes himself victim of price regulation when he becomes consumers in the market and face the queue to purchase basket of goods for survival, she added.


Earlier, Dr. Abdul Saboor, organizer of the seminar, in his welcome address, highlighted the aims and objectives of organizing this seminar. He admired the Korea by donating a capacity building center where farmers’ classes will be held. Moreover, he appreciated the Lok Sanjh contributions and efforts by having Farmers’ Open University. He gave the Korean model example (1960s) in which they empowered the farmers through New Village Development based on “Can Do” approach.


Mr. Mazhar Iqbal, a farmer from Chakwal, sharing his view with the participants, highlighted the issues like label issues of seeds in which private companies are exploiting the farmers. Wheat rate issued by Govt is Rs. 1200 but they are forced to sell at Rs.1110, crushing rate are high, no agriculture institution to raise their voices against this injustice. He also told the forum about the diseases to crops while pesticides that are available providing less resistance to them.