Peshawar: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mahtab Ahmad Khan has said that agricultural production plays a pivotal role in the economy of Pakistan. He said there is a need to make coordinated efforts for providing benefits of research results at doorstep of farmers.
He said provincial government should take further steps so that farmers could be facilitated besides apprising them for the use of modern technology for crop cultivation. He announced Rs. 2 million for the Climate Change Centre in the agriculture university and said establishment of this centre will prove to be a significant step to effectively address the Climate Change impact on crop husbandry and livestock.
He further said that Pakistan largely dependent on agriculture economy and it is the need of the time to shift agriculture on modern trends to make Pakistan a food sufficient country and improve the financial condition of farming community.
Addressing the Convocation – 2016 of Agricultural University at its premises in Peshawar on Wednesday, the Governor said it is encouraging that our young scientists in the field are imbued with spirit and capabilities to overcome the confronting challenges. In all more than 340 graduates, 24 got PhD degrees in various disciplines of agriculture sciences including Business Administration,
Computer Science, Veterinary Science, Information Technology, Bio-Technology and Rural Sociology as well while amongst them, 68 were honoured with gold medals 4 graduates from FATA awarded presidential medals for achieving distinctive positions. Besides, the Pro Chancellor of the university, Provincial minister for agriculture, Ikram ullah Gandapore the ceremony was largely attended by educationists, scholars and parents of the graduates.
The Governor, who is also the Chancellor of the university, said that agriculture is an engine of growth for generating employment opportunities in the country for the non-farm economy as well because of its linkages with small cities and rural areas. He said to cope with the major challenges in agriculture and livestock sectors, we need to increase the production of major agricultural produce to feed its growing population and also generate surpluses for exports.
He said, being the prime institution for agricultural education and research in this province, agricultural university Peshawar has the obligation to provide trained manpower to all sectors of agriculture in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA and to offer solutions to agriculture related problems of the farming community.
He urged the relevant officials of agriculture department and research researchers of the University 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 through export as well.
While appreciating the role of the university, the governor said that this institution has fulfilled its mandated responsibilities and playing a vital role in the uplift of the society, special farming community. The University’s creative efforts focused on developing products, improved varieties and technological packages and dissemination of research results among the end users are highly commendable.
“It is also satisfying to note that apart from imparting education through academic programs, the University is playing an important role in training scientists and students of the allied institution through short term trainings and courses in different areas of agriculture and relevant disciplines”, he added.
Governor said to steer Pakistan in the right direction of development, we have to make efforts to remove socio-economic barriers by ensuring merit so that the students belonging to far flung and underdeveloped areas have equal access and opportunities for quality education.
He said the incumbent government was committed to provide financial and material resources but simultaneously it is the responsibility of the educational institutions as well to provide conducive leaning environment and encouragement to the students. “We should work hard together to ensure that Pakistan emerges as a strong, developed and vibrant country and Pakistanis could hold their heads high in the comity of nations”, he further added.
He said Universities and educational institutions have to play a key role in this pursuit. He said Pakistan is blessed with immense natural resources and called upon the researchers and scientists to transfer the latest agricultural technologies to the farmers.
Highlighting the importance of agricultural education, the Governor said higher education institutions can develop skills to cope up with these challenges. He said provision of high quality education, research and dissemination of research findings to indigenous holders is the key towards achievement of the desired goals.
Prof. Dr., Zahoor Ahmad Swati Vice Chancellor of the University earlier presented the annual report of the university. He also thanked the Governor for gracing the occasion, despite his heavy schedule of engagements.