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University of the Punjab

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Need to adopt new techniques in agri-sector for development: Fakhar Imam
Need to adopt new techniques in agri-sector for development: Fakhar Imam

LAHORE: (Thursday, December 23, 2021): Federal Minister Food and Nutrition Syed Fakhar Imam has said that there is a need to adopt modern techniques and technology in the agriculture sector in order to strengthen the country’s economy and improve the financial conditions of farmers. He made this statement during his online address to the participants of the inaugural ceremony of the 4th International Symposium on Advances in Molecular Biology of Plants and Health Sciences organized by Punjab University Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology at Sheikh Riazuddin Auditorium here on Thursday. Punjab Minister for Agriculture Syed Hussain Jahanian Gardezi, PU Vice Chancellor Prof Niaz Ahmad, Director CEMB, Prof. Dr. Ahmad Ali Shahid, national and international eminent scientists and students were present on this occasion. Addressing the ceremony, Mr Fakhar Imam said that the super powers had ruled the world through knowledge and technology. He said that with the help of technology and modern techniques, we could cope with various challenges being faced in the agriculture sector. He said our agriculture sector was also facing climatic problems and scarcity of water, which were big challenges. He said that we needed to invest in human resource and promote technical and vocational education in the country. He said that the government was making full efforts to increase the production of rice, cotton, wheat, sugarcane and other crops. Mr Gardezi said that knowledge had led to revolutions in the world and the education, which could contribute to the development of the country, was useless. He said that without making advances in the field of biotechnology, we could not make progress in the agricultural and health sectors. He appreciated triple gene cotton seed developed by PU CEMB and said that it had proved as drought and disease resistant. He said that Pakistan’s youth was full of potential and our next generation would play its role in the development of the country. Prof Niaz Ahmad urged the scientists and researchers of public sector higher education institutions to do research with an aim to solve problems being faced by the people as they were getting pay from the money of taxpayers. He said that now Pakistan required research which could solve socio-economic problems and this was the duty of higher education and research institutions to perform this responsibility. He said that Pakistan and its people had invested in us and now it was the time to return and contribute to the development of the country as well as society since we were passing through a critical time.

In his opening remarks, Dr Shahid highlighted the CEMB achievements during 36 years of the centre’s journey. He briefed the audience about promising field results of CKC2, CEMB 33 and CA 12 cotton varieties developed by CEMB and the efforts for commercialization of these varieties with different national and international seed companies. He also talked about certified laboratories for GMO testing and the products developed by CEMB such as stem cells-based treatment for eyes and diagnostic kits for many human diseases. Later during the five technical sessions, international researchers from USA, Turkey, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Iran, Germany, China, Brazil, Nepal, and national researchers from twenty-six varsities gave their talks and shared their research experiences.