FAISALABAD, May 8 (APP): The US Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Agriculture and Food Security (USPCAS-AFS), University of Agriculture Faisalabad; University of California Davis, USA and Washington State University USA have approved 15 agriculture based research projects to work jointly in order to ensure food security in Pakistan.
This was disclosed during second steering committee's meeting of the USPCAS-AFS held at the syndicate room, UAF, on Sunday with Vice Chancellor Prof Dr.Iqrar Ahmad Khan in the chair.
University of California Davis' professors Dr. Jim Hill, Dr. Thomas Rost, Dr. Nancy J Allen, Dr. Chris Pannkuk, USPCAS-AFS Chief of Party Dr. Bashir Ahmad, Farmer Associates Pakistan's CEO Afaq Tiwana, Progressive farmers Manzoor Thakar, Muhammad Faisal Shah, and other experts also attended the meeting.
UAF Vice Chancellor said that they have received over 280 agricultural research proposals, out of which 30 potential research proposals had been shortlisted in eleven priority areas of the agriculture sector which is directly linked to the food insecurity.
As many as 30 proposals have been further shortlisted for the approval of 15 projects, he added.
He said that research was themed in 11 priority areas including stressed tolerant germplasm of cotton and wheat; vaccine development for foot and mouth; pest management strategies; control of tree dieback; increasing health and nutrient value of food, biotechnology, water security and policy matters.
He said that food security was the challenge for the world. Heat tolerant varieties; adaptive measures for the climate changes; value addition, reduction in post-harvest losses and policy measures are prerequisite to fight the challenges of food insecurity, he said and added that the researches would provide solution to the problems of farming community too.
University of California Davis' professors Dr. Jim Hill said that besides the research grants, 250 scholarships were being given under the USPCAS-AFS in the five years.
He said that one third of the scholarships are for thematic areas; one third need based and one third are on open merit.
He said the work under USPCAS-AFS would come up with viable solutions for the problems of farming community.
USPCAS-AFS Chief of Party Dr Bashir Ahmad said that under the faculty exchange program, 9 UAF faculty members were sent to the universities of United States to exchange benefits from each other's experiences.
He said that 7 of them had returned and another batch of 7 professors had been sent to the University of California Davis, USA and Washington State University, USA.