Govt focusing on improving agriculture: minister
ISLAMABAD: The government pays special attention to the agriculture sector because 70 per cent of the population is dependent on it, while 45 per cent of the employment is generated in the same sector.
Addressing the oath-taking ceremony, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam said that the government has increased the development budget of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research from Rs1 billion to Rs30 billion and important steps have been taken to make the country self-sufficient in agricultural commodities.
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 agricultural scientists.
In addition, ensuring provision of funds for the improvement to the agricultural research institutes of the country is the top priority of the government, Imam said, adding that the ministry is trying to ensure provision of pension to Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) employees in the Special Pay Scale (SPS) and that the technical allowance should also be given to the cadres along with the scientists.
Talking to the participants of the Parsa oath-taking and Scientists Award Distribution Ceremony, Dr Muhammad Azeem Khan, chairman of PARC, said that owing to the hard work of these scientists Pakistan is now self-sufficient in its major food items like wheat, rice, sugarcane, maize, etc.
The PARC chairman also thanked the dignitaries for sparing their valuable time for the ceremony. He assured the federal minister and secretary that scientists are always ready to take any challenge faced by the agricultural sector in Pakistan.
Khan reminded the respectable guests about the current budget deficit of PARC.
The newly-elected Parsa president Azizullah Shah assured that the association will continue its efforts to promote the scientific research and disseminate knowledge at the doorsteps of the farmers.
He demanded from the federal minister to get the approval of non-official members of PARC from the Cabinet, approval for permanent members of PARC Executive Committee and to ensure the provision of PARC funds on a regular basis.
The newly-elected Parsa executive committee took oath on the occasion.
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