ISLAMABAD - Minister for National Food Security and Research, Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan here on Tuesday said that a large majority of small land holders and poor farmers are still deprived of the innovative and modern cultivation facilities which was a major constraint in agricultural development in the country. While addressing in a workshop on “Research innovations for Food Security and Prosperity” organized by National Agriculture Research Center (NARC), the minister said that a few progressive farmers were able to get benefits from the research and innovations from their own resources and getting maximum output of their produces.

The event was aimed at sharing the outcomes of the Research for Agriculture Development Programme (RADP) in which the farmers of different crops and livestock shared their success stories.

The minister said that due to non-availability of innovative and research based agri-facilities, the agriculture sector was turning into a non-profitable sector and a large number of rural population were migrating towards urban areas which was a serious threat for national food security.

However, he said that government was focusing on a broad based holistic approach to agriculture growth through science based solutions for more profitable farming, high productivity of major farming system.

He said that government was also determined for the diversification to high value crops, demand based production, value addition and value chain of agriculture in the country.

Sikandar Bosan said that Research for Agriculture Development Programme (RADP) is one of the government initiatives to accelerate agriculture growth through science based solutions and promote investment in agricultural research.

The Project Director of RADP, Dr. Sarfraz Ahmad on the occasion told under the RADP project NARC has so far developed about 6,000 genotypes of different crops and preserved in the gen bank of the center.

He also informed that under the project hybrid seeds of sunflower, canola developed and fruit nurseries were established in Gilgit and Islamabad.

Dr. Sarfraz said that about 75 training programmes were also organized to train farmers and other service providers, where as 130 students completed their M.phil degrees and 149 publications were also published in local as well as international journals.

He further said that under the project more than 2,000 young scientist, researchers, farmers and service providers were trained for disseminating the innovations and research to the door steps of farmers living in far flung areas of the country.

He said that under RADP, farmers of seven floods affected districts of Balochistan were provided skill development training and capacity building to enhance their livelihood.

Speaking on the occasion,Chairman PARC called upon the scientists to bring out the research from books and journals and convey it to the end users for the promotion and development of agri-sector in the country.