National consultative workshop on “Organic Potential along the Silk Road” on June 18

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Ministry of National Food Security & Research and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in collaboration with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) will organize a national consultative workshop on “Organic Potential along the Silk Road” in Islamabad on Tuesday (June 18, 2019).

The workshop aims to explore measures and alternatives for policy and strategic actions that will allow communities, governments, and the private sector to both protect the environment and thrive economically.

It also aims to explore, understand, and underscore the feasibility of unlocking the organic potential in the mountains of Pakistan, particularly in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral to begin with.

The workshop will establish an enabling framework for an overarching strategy, collaborative partnerships, and policy options and actions.

Specifically, the national consultative workshop has set a three-pronged approach to achieving the organic goal:

Agriculture (horticulture and livestock)

  • Understand the benefits and challenges of organic vs conventional practices
  • Incorporate stakeholders’ inputs on challenges and opportunities for going organic
  • Share information on the quality of soil, nutrients and minerals
  • Seek investments and scope partnership requirements
  • Identify steps and processes of organic certification along with investments, capacities, requirements, and return patterns
  • Formulate a road map, including shaping policy and law, to push organic agriculture
  • Clarify partnership dynamics and roles of institutions

Sustainable tourism and ecosystem

  • Analyze tourism’s demand–supply pattern and carrying capacity
  • Provide rationale/basis and awareness for responsible tourism instead of mass tourism
  • Assess standards and sustainability of facilities, infrastructure, capacities and services
  • Ensure long term inclusive benefits and ownership to local communities in cumulative form – culture, adventure, jeep safaris, religious, eco, and nature tourism
  • Assess how organic farming helps sustainable tourism and trade and vice versa
  • Identify the key barriers, leveraging points, solutions and sustainable tourism policies
  • Align ecosystem based services with tourism facilities and services
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Trade of organic goods

  • Identify trade able communities and products, including export potential
  • Identify and address possible challenges such as tariffs, infrastructure, storage, transport, and Phytosanitary certificate
  • Ensure certification and address quality concerns
  • Inform policy for a conducive trade environment

Besides other dignitaries, the Minister for MNFS&R Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan, the Chairman Pakistan Tourism Development Cooperation (PTDC) Zulfi Bukhari and the Chairperson Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) Dr. Sania Nishtar will also attend the event as Guests of Honor.