FAO, Food Ministry collaborate to bring innovative research financing

APP News Agency

09th Sep, 2021. 02:06 pm

ISLAMABAD: A consultative workshop on Innovative Financing for Agricultural Research was jointly organised by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFSR) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to provide an opportunity to look at examples of financial mechanisms for research in Pakistan and around the world.

Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam attended the workshop as the chief guest. Financing models of Pakistanis agricultural research institutions, as well as research institutions from leading agricultural countries such as Australian Rural Research and Development Corporations, Brazilian Agriculture Research Corporation, European Union, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, United States Department of Agriculture and Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences were looked into to identify possible way forward for the research in Pakistan.

The spending on research and development has reduced to -23 per cent from 1991 to 2012 in Pakistan. The impact can been seen on the per hectare production of major crops such as wheat, rice, sugarcane, cotton and maize.

Resultantly, Pakistan is losing the competitiveness in the international market for these crops. The imports of cotton for textiles and food items have increased. This workshop provided an opportunity to explore more options to pool resources for research and development to improve production and competitiveness.

Fakhar Imam said that the workshop would provide an opportunity to the national and international experts to discuss various financial mechanisms and how Pakistan can evolve a pragmatic financial mechanism for research institutions.

FAO Representative in Pakistan Florence Rolle, while thanking Imam for asking FAO to undertake an assessment of PARC and PCCC, emphasised on the importance of investing in agricultural research and extension to reduce poverty, malnutrition and hunger.

Australian Rural Research and Development Corporation former executive director Dr Steve Jefferies, International Maize and Improvement Center, Pakistan country director Dr Thakur Prasad Tiwari, representative from the United States Department of Agriculture Jodi A Scheffler, agricultural commissioner of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Pakistan, Dr Gu Wenliang, Development Adviser of the Agriculture and Climate Change, and a delegation of the European Union to Pakistan, Roberto Aparicio Martín shared best international practices on innovative financial mechanism.

The representatives from academia, federal and provincial agriculture departments also shared national experiences.

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