International Conference on Horticulture Commenced at PMAS-AAUR

Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training, Engr. Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman said Horticulture sector has a great potential and is a backbone of the Pakistan agriculture.


He stated this while addressing on inaugural session of three days International Horticulture Conference at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR), on April 25, 2018.


The Conference was organized by PMAS-AAUR Department of Horticulture in collaboration with Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Pakistan Society for Horticulture Science, with an aim to identify gaps/priorities for sustainable development in horticulture and to facilitate networking, collaboration & exchange of ideas with international experts.


Federal Minister stressed on the value addition of the horticulture produce and said that there is dire need to promote research on horticultural plants and allied aspects to ensure food security in the country.


He emphasized on olive cultivation and said that Pakistani land is very much suitable for it and stressed the need to conserve water by introducing innovative irrigation techniques, such as sprinkler & drip irrigation, and to ensure maximum productivity per drop of water.


He said that the agrarian productivity could be increased manifolds by transferring modern technology to small farmers. He said hydroponic/soilless system is a milestone in increasing the capability of agro-products and PMAS-AAUR make ensure to train farmers for this technology to increase production rather than relying on traditional instruments.


While talking about the achievements of Present government, he said that Pakistan has attained milestones in economic and energy sectors by during the past four years which paved the way for a prosperous and stronger country.


He also recalled improvement in economy and energy crisis situation in the country that have been possible only because of the policies and dedication of present government which had been acknowledged by the leading International organizations.


He said that Pakistan's GDP enhanced from 3.68 to 5.28 percent and we have been targeting to take it to almost six percent. He said that the present government took number of steps to give more attention to educational sector by enhancing its budget from Rs. 41 billion to Rs. 90 billion.


Federal Minister appreciated the organizers of conferences and said that the eminent scientists, educationists, researchers from different countries would definitely share their latest technical & research related outcome of horticulture that will lead to open new avenues for our scholars in the agricultural universities and contributing a magnifying role for the wellbeing of our farmers.


Earlier, PMAS-AAUR Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Sarwat N Mirza, welcome the participants and hoped that the three day stay of valuable horticultural scientists will bring a positive change to give a school of thought pushing our people to come and play their optimistic role in the growth of horticulture especially in the Pothohar region.


He said that processed horticultural produce has tremendous export potential due to high demand in export market for graded fruits, citrus juice, mango pulp etc. CPEC will further boom the horticulture commodities, he added. He hoped that this conference will help for the promotion of this sector.


PMAS-AAUR, Dean Faculty of Crop and Food Sciences Prof. Dr. Nadeem Akhtar Abbasi, in his key note address explain the horticulture sector in detail. He also shared the participants regarding horticulture scope in Pakistan, its production technologies, supply chain systems and postharvest management for the enhancement of quantity and quality of produce.


Foreign delegates from China, Italy and Netherlands are also participating while in a three days conference the participants will discuss different areas of horticulture including production technologies, nutrition, pre & postharvest physiology, value addition, supply chain, insect & disease management, propagation & nursery certification system, biotechnology/tissue culture, market opportunities and challenges.