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PARC holds 44th meeting of Board of Governors (BoG). PARC budget for FY 2019-20 approved

Uplifting agriculture sector is highest priority of present government. Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Federal Minister for M/ NFS&R

Islamabad (8th January, 2020)......... The Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research and President of PARC Board of Governors Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar presided over the 44th Meeting of PARC BoG on Wednesday at PARC, HQs, Islamabad. The PARC Board of Governor has approved revised budget for the financial year 2018-19 for PARC. The annual budget for FY-2019-20 has also been approved by Board of Governors. Board also approved increase in conveyance allowance of disabled persons. Adoption of amendment in Prime Minister’s Family Assistance Package has also been approved. PARC budget was presented by Dr. Turab Hayder, Member (Finance) PARC.

Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Federal Minister for M/o National Food Security & Research welcomed the members and hoped that all members will utilize their vision and experience in revitalizing agricultural research in the country. He also appreciated that PARC has played a vital role towards improving the agriculture sector in various ways over the past.The Federal Minister also added that uplift of agriculture sector is one of the highest priority areas of the present government. The Federal Minister added that Country currently facing degradation and depletion of natural resources (water, the most important one), climate change impacts, resource conflicts, rapid urbanization, malnutrition and hunger & poverty. He also said that country is currently facing food trade deficit, being an agriculture country major chunk of exports is linked with better performance of agriculture sector. Now Pakistan has also transformed itself from food exporting country to net food importing country. To address these issues, agriculture sector needs proper attention at all levels for brining improvement in productivity. This will not only uplift the livelihood of resource poor farmers but will also help in export promotion and import substitution strategies of the economy. Under Prime Minister Agriculture Emergency Program, a sizeable investment has been pledged for the next four years. The Federal and Provincial governments are jointly implementing 14 mega projects worth around 300 billion that includes 67 billion for crops i.e. Wheat, Rice, Sugarcane, Oilseeds and pulses production. The other projects includes livestock, fisheries, poultry and water resources sectors. The present Govt. budgetary support for agricultural research and development projects will help farming community in enhancing their productivity and profitability. The govt. has significantly increased agricultural sector investment from Rs. 1 billion to 12 billion. Being an apex organization, PARC played a significant role in achieving food security goals in the country. He also said that food security means when people have access to healthy and nutritious food and it is very encouraging to know that PARC was instrumental in developing 1st ever Food Security Policy after the creation of new Ministry and it is satisfying to know that same policy is now under implementation. The Federal Minister ensured that PARC current financial crunch in disbursing pension and other end service benefits will be cleared through our consistent mutual efforts.

Dr. Muhammad Hashim Popalzai, Federal Secretary for M/o National Food Security & Research, in his address said that it is expected that the food policy implementation will help in the promotion of value added food production while creating a new class of agricultural businesspersons. As a result the availability of diversified food products will increase that will help to improve the economic access of food to the socially deprived communities living in marginal and remote areas

The Board of Governors also discussed research priorities and various issues of agriculture sector which include production planning, cost of productions, crops scenario, policies for research, seed purity and quality, technologies, innovations and future planning. Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan, Chairman, PARC informed the board about taking various steps for improvement of performance and efficiency of PARC system. Mr. Wiqar Ahmad, Secretary PARC presented agenda items before the Members of Board of Governors. The meeting ended with vote of thanks.

(Hassan Sajjad)
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