ISLAMABAD, Jun 21 (APP): Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) has Up-graded its Arid Zone Research Institute (AZRI) to the level of Arid Zone Research Centre (AZRC) in Dera Ismail Khan.

Four new Adaptive Research-cum-Demonstration Institutes (ADRI) also established at Wana (South Waziristan Agency), Miranshah (North Waziristan Agency) FATA, Tank and Matora, Lakki Marwat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to improve livelihood of the resource poor farmers of the arid, rainfed, sailaba and rod-kohi areas.

The new institutes would also help enhance the sustainable productivity of agriculture in arid and semi arid areas while protecting the natural resource-base i.e. land and water resources, range land from degradation and preservation of vast natural biodiversity present in the area, said a statment received here on Tuesday.

The Institute was upgraded and new institutes were established on the demand of the farmers of the Village Matora Welfare Organization District Lakki Marwat KPK and political leaders of the region during Kissan Convention held in Islamabad through directives of Prime Minister of Pakistan to Federal Government.

The objective of the AZRC and its institutes was to expand gricultural research and development activities to the neglected areas of Southern Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) so as to improve the agricultural productivity and reduce poverty in the region.

Chairman PARC Dr. Nadeem Amjad has inaugurated the PARC newly
established Adaptive Research-cum-Demonstration Institute (ARDI) Matora, Lakki Marwat and unveiled a foundation stone.

While speaking on the occasion, he highlighted the efforts of present Federal Government for promoting agriculture sector in Pakistan and focusing less developed areas of the country.

He appreciated the efforts of Azizullah Shah, Senior Director (Land Resources) PARC for obtaining approval of the above PSDP Mega Project of Rs.455.493 Million from GoP.

He termed the upgradation of AZRI to level of AZRC D.I. Khan and establishment of new agricultural research institutes at Matora, Lakki Marwat, Tank and Wana South Waziristan Agency (SWA) and Miranshah, North Waziristan Agency (NWA) FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa a milestone for agricultural development in the region. Chairman PARC said that Pakistan is an agricultural country.

The majority of the people directly or indirectly depend on this sector.

Pakistan is also an important agriculture country in the world. He said that it is the only agricultural research centre which would cover all southern districts including FATA.

He said that the newly upgraded research centre would strengthen existing research infrastructure at D.I.Khan and newly established institutes would introduced and disseminate improved agricultural production technologies and strategies for improvement of socio-economic status of agrarian societies in the target areas, improve natural resources conditions for uplifting the livelihood of arid farmers, identify problems of the arid areas and under-take research for their solution.

MNA Lakki Marwat, Col ® Ameerullah Khan, Ex-Federal Minister for Petroleum Anwar Saifullah Khan, District Nazim Lakki Marwat Ashfaq Ahmad Minakhel, DG AZRC D. I. Khan, Engr. Noman Latif, Senior Director (Land Resources) PARC Azizullah Khan, senior scientists and farmers of the area attended the inauguration ceremony.