Rawalpindi - In order to review joint developmental initiatives, a meeting between the Ambassador of South Korea Dr Song Jong-Hwan and Vice Chancellor Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) Prof Dr Rai Niaz was held here yesterday.

The main focus of the meeting was to review ongoing joint project of PAK-Korea Capacity Building Centre (PKCBC) for Agriculture and Livestock Technology at the university and to discuss Pakistan-Korea future cooperation and opportunities (including already submitted projects) in research and development of agriculture sector.

On the occasion, Song Jong-hwan was apprised of proposed initiatives regarding institutional development of the university as well as agricultural and socio-economic development of Potohar region. The ambassador was also briefed on broad objectives and activities of the proposed project explaining how the philosophy of Korean development “Saemaul Undong” (New Village Movement) would be introduced and disseminated for the empowerment and development of rural communities.

The ambassador showed keen interest in supporting PMAS-AAUR for mobilising rural communities of the country, especially of Potohar region, to elevate their socio-economic status. He said Pak-Korea Capacity Building Centre at the university will significantly contribute to improve agricultural technologies as well as educational capabilities of PMAS-AAUR.

He hoped that PMAS-AAUR could take lead in disseminating the Saemaul Undong Movement in the rural areas of Pakistan and PKCBC would play a central role to develop and revitalise the rural areas, as well as to strength the partnership between both the countries.

The Embassy of Republic of Korea and Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) will continue to participate actively with the aim of making PMAS-AAUR and Pakistan more developed and peaceful, he added.

Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad expressed his appreciation for continuous support and cooperation of KOICA office and kind patronising by the ambassador of Republic of Korea to Pakistan. He apprised that the university was actively involved in extension activities with special focus on small farmers to improve their income through agricultural development.

The university is actively playing its role in bringing together all the stakeholders of the agriculture sector under one umbrella for the development of agriculture in the country, he added.

It may be recalled that KOICA is assisting the university with the financial grant of US $3.5 million for establishment of PKCBC at its main Campus in Rawalpindi. Under this agreement Pakistani experts are getting training from their Korean counterparts with aim to transfer the knowledge and technology to the local experts and farmers.

This centre will improve human and institutional capacities of Pakistan in improving rural infrastructure and agricultural productivity by transferring Korea experience and know-how to the Pakistani farmers. It will also increase farm income through quality improvement and enrichment of products.

The Korean ambassador was accompanied by First Secretary In Kook Kim, while the VC was assisted by Syeda Irum Umar (treasurer), Dr Ata ul Mohsin (director external linkages) and Dr Iftikhar Hussain.