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UAF to address issue of food security, malnutrition

FAISALABAD: The Centre for Excellence in Agriculture will be set up at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) to address the issue of food security and malnutrition.

This was stated by Pakistan Agricultural Research Council chairman Muhammad Ayub at a seminar on `slow pace of agricultural biotechnology adaptability: an analysis and way forward` arranged by the UAF on Thursday.

He said the government had allocated record Rs287 billion for the agriculture sector to take it into mainstream economy. He said special focus was being paid to improve the sector and address the problems of the farmers. He said with the tangible research work, we can`t only increase the peracre productivity but also combat the issues of hunger and poverty.

He said hefty amount was also allocated to promote the culture of focused research as the country was lagging behind in the biotechnology adaptability and `we have to take measures to strengthen research on biotechnology.

UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Muhammad Ashraf said many people across the globe had lost their lives due to malnutrition and hunger. He said it`s the need of the hour to adopt biotechnology to meet the demand of the increasing world. He said genetically modified crops are as safe as non GM crops.

He said the world population would touch nine billion figure by2050 whereas the agricultural land was decreasing.

Pakistan Biotechnology Information Center Director Dr Muhammad Iqbal Chaudhry said the USA, Brazil, Argentina, Canada and India are the top five countries that adopted the biotechnology. He said out of 57 Islamic countries, only four including Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Sudan are in the biotechnology commercialisation.

He said biotechnology could play an important role to increase production, decrease the production cost, and improve the living standards of the general public.

Dr Abdullah Kausar and Dr Muhammad Aslam also spoke. Staff Correspondent