APP68-21 RAWALPINDI: December 21 – Punjab Agricultural Minister Muhammad Naeem Akhtar Bhabha & Ambassador of the Republic of Korean, Suh Dong Gu unveiling the plaque to inaugurate Pak-Korea Capacity Building Center for Agriculture and Livestock at Arid Agriculture University. APP photo by Abid Zia

RAWALPINDI, Dec 21 (APP): Pak-Korea Capacity Building Center for Agriculture and Livestock inaugurated here on Wednesday at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University (MPAS-AAUR).
Punjab Minister for Agriculture, Muhammad Naeem Akhtar Bhabha speaking as Chief Guest at the inaugural ceremony said, agriculture was backbone of the economy and Punjab government took a number of steps for development of the sector and welfare of the farmers.
On the occasion, Ambassador of Republic of Korea, Suh Dong gu, Parliamentary Secretary for Youth Affairs Punjab Ch. Sarfraz Afzal, MPAs Malik Iftikhar, Raja Muhammad Hanif, Zaib-un-Nisa, Tehseen Fawad, PMAS-AAUR Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad, Deans, Directors and faculty members were also present.
The Minister said, the present government under the leadership of Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif was making all out efforts for strengthening the agriculture sector and “Kissan Package” was not only a revolutionary step taken by the government but would also be helpful for achieving self-reliance in the agriculture
production and alleviating poverty.
Underlining the need to improve agriculture production system on scientific lines to enhance sustainable food production he said, there was dire need to encourage the farmers to use modern agricultural tools to get maximum production to meet present and future food demands of the country.
The Minister appreciated efforts and developments being made by the University for socio-economic uplift of the forming community with special emphasis on rain-fed agriculture in the country.
The Ambassador while addressing the participants said, Punjab province played a vital role in not only agriculture and livestock sectors but also in socio-economic development of the country.
Appreciating efforts of PMAS-AAUR he said, the University was playing an important role in up-lifting the deprived communities in the dry land regions through education, research and technology development.
He hoped that the Center would enhance the capabilities of the students, farmers and rural communities by facilitating collaborative research, training and promoting agri-business development as well as to increase the rural economy and help minimize income gap between the rich and poor and the irrigated and the arid lands.
He said, this joint project would also provide a precious momentum to the bilateral ties between the two countries in general and the partnership between the Arid Agriculture University and KOICA in particular.
Ch Sarfraz Afzal on the occasion said, PML-N was a party which had always strived to protect the interests of the farmers and the rural masses.
He said, prosperity of small farmers was a top priority of the government which was spending huge amounts for promoting agriculture and this would definitely raise their living standards.
Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad addressing the gathering said, the university was playing an important role in improving the country’s agriculture.
He informed the gathering that the capacity building center project had been completed at a cost of Rs 374.5 million by Korean aid agency, Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and Rs 21 million by PMAS-AAUR and it would significantly contribute to improve agricultural technology as well as educational infrastructure at the University.
It will improve human and institutional capacities of the country in improving infrastructure and agricultural technology by transferring Korean experience and know-how to the Pakistani counterpart.
It will also increase agricultural production through quality improvement.
He said that Pakistan was an agricultural country and efforts made by the government were appreciable.
Earlier, Naeem Akhtar alongwith the Ambassador and PMAS-AAUR Vice
Chancellor inaugurated the Pak-Korea Capacity Building Center. The Minister and Ambassador also planted a tree in the University premises.