ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS) organized an “Online Conference” in Islamabad on Tuesday on the topic “Impacts of COVID-19 on Agriculture Sector in Pakistan”.
The Session aimed to discuss the current situation of the agriculture sector and to comprehend the harmful impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown on the agribusiness.
The Online Conference was attended by prominent experts from Pakistan’s agriculture industry and experts from academia.
The Conference was moderated by the Executive Director CGSS Lieutenant Colonel (retd) Khalid Taimur Akram.
The Conference was commenced by the President CGSS Major General (retd) Syed Khalid Amir Jaffery, he briefed the panelists about the current scenario of COVID-19 and the relevance of the agriculture sector.The Vice-Chancellor MNS-University of Agriculture in Multan Professor Dr Asif Ali talked about the importance of the food industry, especially in rural areas and its contribution to Pakistan’s economy. Pakistan’s international trade is being affected due to COVID 19 restrictions and the trade of fruits and vegetables will be negatively affected if proper policies are not formulated.
The former Chairman Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Dr Yusuf Zafar T.I stated that the Coronavirus pandemic is first and foremost a “health crisis”.
However, it is also a major social and economic predicament. He further stressed the need to maximize public sector investment to strengthen R & D sector in the country.
The former Minister Livestock, and Dairy Development, Punjab, Mumtaz Mohammad Khan Manais briefed about the need for advanced technology in the agriculture sector to increase the productivity of agriculture industry in Pakistan. He also highlighted the importance of food security policies.
Furthermore, he stated that Pakistan’s 60% economy is based on agriculture, keeping in view it’s significance the government should provide sufficient technology and tools to revive it during a pandemic.
The Assistant Professor at Department of plant and pathology in University College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences, Islamia University, Bahawalpur Dr Waqas Ashraf explained the effects of the current pandemic on our import and exports, lockdown is creating many challenges for farmers and people related with agriculture industry, he further stressed on the preservation of orange seeds as they are helpful in boosting immunity.
The Member Social Sciences at Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Dr Umer Farooq briefed about the Post Harvest challenges in Pakistan. He suggested to devise a workable policy for formers as Pakistan was not prepared for this natural calamity and now the assets of our country are in havoc. Furthermore, he stated that we need national unity and consensus to formulate a strategy.
The Member Board of Advisors CGSS Brigadier (retd) Mansoor Saeed stated that the world has gone into a recession in the post CVODI-19 era and reemergence for Pakistan will only be possible if proper and better rates are paid to the farmers as they need to be preserved as a national asset for our future.
The Online Interactive Session was attended by 30 participants from academia and agriculture sector.