Islamabad: Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam has said the development budget of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research had been enhanced from Pakistani Rs 1 billion to Rs 30 billion amid China’s support to boost Pakistan’s agriculture sector.
He maintained that the government paid special attention to the agriculture sector because 70% of the population was dependent on it while 45% of the employment was generated in the same sector.
Speaking at the oath-taking ceremony of the new Pakistan Agricultural Research Council Scientists Association (PARSA) office bearers, Imam acknowledged China’s help to enhance Pakistan’s agriculture production.
Under the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said, the agriculture sector was being given a special focus.
“The development budget of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research from Rs 1 billion to Rs 30 billion and important steps have been taken to make the country self-sufficient in agricultural commodities,” he noted.
The minister pointed out that other important measures to improve agriculture include the use of hybrid seed technology, genetic engineering, modern technology, protection of water reservoir , pastures and other agricultural resources, modern breeding of high milk and high meat producing animals, providing maximum national and international training opportunities to enhance the professionalism of agriculture scientists were being taken.
In addition, he said, ensuring provision of funds for the improvement to the agricultural research institutes of the country is the top priority of the government.
“The ministry is trying to ensure provision of pension to PARC (Pakistan Agriculture Research Council) employees in SPS (Special Pay Scale) scale and were are planning to provide technical allowance to the technical cadres along-with scientists,” he stated.
On this occasion, Dr Muhammad Azeem Khan, Chairman, PARC said that owing to the hard-work of the scientists Pakistan was now self -sufficient in its major food items like wheat, rice, sugarcane, maize etc.
Chairman PARC also thanked dignitaries for sparing their valuable time for the ceremony. He assured the worthy Federal Minister and Secretary that scientists are always ready to take any challenge faced by the agricultural sector in Pakistan. He reminded the respectable guests about the current budget deficit of PARC.
The newly elected President of PARSA, Azizullah Shah pledged that the association will continue its efforts to promote the scientific research and disseminate knowledge at the doorstep of farmers.