Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) and Planning and Development(P&D) Department, Government of the Punjab organised a consultative meeting for prioritizing initiatives/proposals for Annual Development Program (ADB) 2017-18, on February 13, 2017.
The meeting was chaired by Vice Chancellor, Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad, while Dr Mukhtar Ahmad, Member Production Sector Wing (PSW) of P&D department, Dr Ashraf, Agriculture Chief P&D, Dr Abdul Saboor, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences PMAS-AAUR, representatives of different departments of Punjab Government including extension, agri engineering, water management, agri marketing, financial institutes, ABAD, BARI, ICARDA, SAWCRI, PARB, PERI, and NGOs were also present on the occasion.
Professor Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad, in his opening remarks thanked the initiatives of the Planning and Development Department, Government of the Punjab for setting priority areas of agriculture research and development (R&D) particularly for the agriculture of Barani region.
He added that university would offer all out support and professional platform for pursuing research being defined by planning and development Department. Dr Niaz briefed the success stories of the university in rain water harvesting, hydroponics, pond formation, and entrepreneurial activities of students.
Dr Mukhtar Ahmad, Member PSW of P&D Department, pointed out that they are interested to look into the issues associated to input, output and marketing of agriculture sector.
He said, “Government is interested in following the Rule of 20-80 in which by making an investment of Rs 20 we would be willing to reap the benefit worth of Rs 80.” He also focused on optimal utilization of agricultural resources.
Dr Ashraf, Agriculture Chief, P&D Department discussed the main purpose of government initiatives in the framework of new economic growth.
He said, “We are looking for priority areas of research and development along with issues, solutions and way forward.
He was happy to say that this is the first time that technocrats and academicians are being given such an honour to involve in consultation activities. He hoped that this exercise would help the government in setting priorities.
Dr Abdul Saboor, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences in his presentation identified the priority areas of research and development for barani region.
He defined that arid agriculture should included desert agriculture, mountain agriculture and reverie agriculture.
In a meeting, VC also appreciated the idea of Dr Mushtaq Gill to start a Centre of Excellence in the university in which besides having a good data base, branded research related to arid region would be conducted.
A new campus needs to be started in riverian area of Punjab for broadening the research focus of arid region.
A number of agricultural experts, deans and directors of the university, farmers and development practitioners gave their valuable input on agriculture, livestock, fishery, and forestry.