September 4, 2013 Off By Web Desk

Islamabad: Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) and International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) on Wednesday decided to collaborate in field of Agricultural Research.

The decision was taken during a meeting between Vice Chancellor, PMAS-AAUR, Prof. Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad and CIMMYT, Consultant Conservation Agriculture-Based Crop Management Dr. Kenneth D. Sayre. Chief Executive South Asian Conservation Agriculture Network (SACAN), Dr. Mushtaq Ahmad Gill, and Senior faculty members of the University also attended the meeting.

The participants of the meeting also visited University Research Farm and Hydroponics Plant. It may be recalled that CIMMYT is a Mexico based non profit research International Organization dedicated to the development of improved varieties of wheat and maize.

In the meeting, participants agreed to make efficient use of natural resources and at the same time maintaining international standards and called for promotion of environment-friendly agricultural practices like precision cultivation to increase productivity and to reduce the input cost.

They were of the view that in order to meet agricultural needs with limited resources, Pakistan would have to shift focus from traditional agriculture method to conservation agriculture by adapting advanced technology. Participants agreed to strengthen the interaction and collaboration among institutes.

They highlighted the significance of close linkages with organizations and agreed to work together for the promotion of research activities.

Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Kenneth D. Sayre said that CIMMYT is committed to improving livelihoods in developing countries through strong science and effective partnerships. He said CIMMYT use knowledge and technology to improve productivity and profitability of farming community and sustain natural resources.

He appreciated the efforts of PMAS-AAUR role to create awareness among the farmers about the latest /technology/techniques in the agriculture sector and hoped that this initiative will improve the economic well-being of the farming community and strengthen economy.

Earlier, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad gave a presentation to the participants about the various research activities being carried out by PMAS-AAUR and said that knowledge is a key input for rapid and sustainable development in a resource constrained economy.

He briefed the participants about rain water harvesting on University Research farm & on campus and underlined the need for concerted efforts for water conservation, development of available water resources to the optimum, and adapting modern technologies for efficient irrigation techniques in view of growing shortage of this vital resource.

He also stressed the need to conserve water by introducing innovative irrigation techniques, such as sprinkler & drip irrigation, and to ensure maximum productivity per drop of water.

He stressed on different departments and their faculty to work together to educate the farmers about the latest practices to combat the food security challenge.

He said that the agrarian productivity could be increased manifolds by transferring modern technology to small farmers. Dr. Kenneth D. Sayre and Prof. Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad also planted trees at University campus. University’s Vice Chancellor also presented a shield to the Dr. Kenneth D. Sayre.