FAISALABAD -  Punjab Governor Rafique Rajwana on Thursday expressed his concerns over the farmers’ grievances and said that a large number of the people are victims of malnutrition which needs to be dealt with effectively.

He also admitted that the farming community had faced many difficulties. However, he said, the government was taking all possible steps to address the farmer’s problems and ensure quality education that will help the country fight different challenges. 

He presided over the 43rd Senate Meeting of the University of Agriculture Faisalabad at New Senate Hall. He said that agriculture was the backbone of the national economy that is contributing 21 percent to the Gross Domestic Product of the country. He said tangible researches would pave the way for increasing agricultural productivity. He said that majority of population depends upon the agriculture sector.

He said that he would suggest the government to declare Faisalabad a knowledge city to get benefit from the potential here. “It is our government commitment to resolve the woes of common men in order to improve their livelihood. The food security is standing among the top agenda of the government,” he said.

The government had introduced Kissan Package and increased loans for farming community that is hallmark step to ensure food security. He said that to redress the grievances of the cotton growers about non-availability of seed, the government had formulated Punjab Seed Act. The governor said that cotton crop was the key to the agrarian economy and the government is paying its full attention to support the cotton growers. He said that the government will ensure the availability of quality seed as well as fair prices of their output.

He said that quality education at each district level would help the county fight the challenges of the modern era. He congratulated the UAF for becoming the first university of Pakistan ranked among the top 100 varsities of the globe.

He applauded the great contribution of UAF to the growth and development of the agriculture sector. He acknowledged the rankings status of UAF at international and national level. He said that no nation can make progress without education.

UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad said that although the country has abundant food but most of the population was malnourished. He said that it is due to unhealthy life style and dependency over two crops.

The UAF had developed a new variety of cotton which is short duration and climate resilient. He said that the UAF had also identified nine new varieties of mangoes out of 500 germplasm that would bring the tangible results.

He said that the UAF was working on the hybrid seed of the wheat and maize that will result in increasing the productivity. He said that the UAF was in touch with 10 million farmers through the mobile phones and internet.

He lauded the steps being taken on the part of the government for the uplift of agriculture sector that is directly linked to the rural development. He said that the government was revamping the agriculture policies that will ensure agricultural development.

Commissioner Momin Agha stressed a need for declaring Faisalabad a knowledge city. He congratulated the government for bringing fruitful measures to address the problems of the farming community. He said that the all possible measures were being taken for the welfare of the city.

Registrar Hussain presented the agenda before the House. The Senate also elected Dr Ijaz Bhatti and Dr Tahira Iqbal as the members of the syndicate for the three years.

The Senate also approved Rs 8638.023 million budget estimates for the financial year 2016-17. The budget estimate was presented by Treasure Umer Saeed. The non development is standing at 4233.281 million whereas Rs 34.33 million for the Water Management Research Center.