KARACHI              -            As many as 25 researchers from various universities participated in the two-day seminar-cum workshop held at Karachi University on Tuesday.

Experts from Pakistan Agriculture Research Islamabad, PMAS, Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam, University of Poonch, Rawalakot, AJK, Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Department of Agriculture LUAWMS, Balochistan, Department of Agriculture, Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, Wheat Research Sub-Station Murree, Department of Plant Protection, Uthal University took part in the event.

The National Nematological Research Centre (NNRC), KU in collaboration with the Pakistan Society of Nematologists (PSN) and Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) organised the 15th scientific workshop, titled ‘significance of nematode identification for better management’.

During the inaugural session, the experts underscored the need for investment in agricultural research, to help in strengthening Pakistan’s agricultural sector and economy. They informed the audience that the identification of nematodes is very important. They also briefed them on how this information could be helpful for farmers to protect their crops.

KU Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi inaugurated the session and expressed that the varsity was working extraordinarily for the promotion of research culture in the country. He informed the audience that since its establishment, the KU has been working for the promotion of science and research in Pakistan.

Professor Iraqi observed: “We have to adopt modern technologies and techniques to boost our agricultural growth.”

During his speech, he acknowledged Professor Dr Shahina Fayyaz services and said one lab of the center would be named after her.

The President of the ECO Science Foundation Professor Dr Manzoor Hussain Soomro shared the working and services of the center. Dr Soomro, who is also the President of the PSN, said that the promotion of improved methods in the teaching of science was one of the prime initiatives of the ECO foundation.

He mentioned that the ECO focuses on the evaluation of the existing training facilities in the region and the formulation of training programs for building up highly skilled scientific and technical manpower.

He maintained that the foundation also designed programs to strengthen the scientific, engineering and research and development institutions. He added that the ECO Science Foundation is working in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan for the promotion of science and technology based economic development in those countries.

“Generating new knowledge and turning it into new innovative solutions are crucial to maintain and enhance the competitiveness in today’s science and technology based global world.”

Meanwhile, the Director General Southern Zone Agriculture Research Center, Dr Attaullah Khan, informed the audience about the working of the center. He mentioned that the research center is working closely with the researchers and students of Karachi University, Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur, and Sindh Agriculture University, Tando Jam.

He said that the agricultural zone also has its offices in Malir and Sachal Goth as well as one in Karachi University since 1986-87. He further said that the research center is providing facilities to the research students and scholars as well as farmers.

“The agriculture research center works on identifying crop’s diseases and its laboratories are engaged in finding the solution and how to prevent crops from the attack of diseases.”

Earlier, during her welcome address, the Director NNRC Dr Saboohi Raza shed lights on the aim of the event and observed that it would act as a platform and helps scientists in sharing knowledge and would be able to learn from each other. She acknowledged the services of the former Director NNRC Professor Dr Shahina for her research contributions to the field of nematology.

She mentioned that NNRC has published more than 1000 research papers in leading national and international journals and added that it has also produced 12 PhD and eight MPhill besides closely working with around 50 local and international institutes and universities in research work.

Meanwhile, the President ECO Science Foundation Professor Dr Manzoor Hussain Soomro and the DG Southern Zone Agriculture Research Center, Dr Attaullah Khan, visited the KU VC Office and met the Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Khalid Iraqi.

They said that research conducted by the KU faculty could play a vital role in bringing positive changes in the agricultural sector. They observed that there should be a bridge between scholars and field experts to bring enhancement in Pakistan’s agriculture sector.

The emphasized that damages to crops could be minimized with the help of research being carried out at the varsities and researchers could also suggest methods that could be used as biocontrol agents against harmful nematodes. Later, they planted plants in front of the New Administration Building along with the KU VC Professor Dr Khalid Iraqi.