The Agricultural Support Fund is striving for development of Pakistan Agricultural Sector by strengthening processing, marketing and product diversification and value addition activities, said ASF representative Aqeela Mumtaz.

She held a meeting with Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, Vice Chancellor UAF, on Wednesday along with 3-member ASF delegation. She said that ASF under the umbrella of USAID Agri-business program is assisting Pakistan in livestock sector and horticulture value chain to increase the rate of trade at national & international level and aims to create 13 million jobs which will reduce inflation rate and help in poverty alleviation.

Dr Iqrar lauded the USAID initiatives for the promotion of agricultural sector of Pakistan and said that these steps would create opportunities for business community in order to transform agricultural sector of the Country. He maintained that UAF has established policy research centre in order to highlight policy issues in agriculture and live stock sectors.

He was of the view that Pakistan is 4th biggest date producing country but stands nowhere at international scenario in the shape of export outcome. He urged the need for mechanisation and processing network at village level in order to promote value addition in horticulture and live stock sectors.

ASF delegate Ayesha Gulzar reiterated commitment for the strengthening of mutual ties with University of Agriculture, Faisalabad through internship program, joint degree initiatives and Agri business activities. She maintained that agri entrepreneurship is only way to generate economic activity in the Country. She stressed the need for establishment of new markets under private sector for the minimizing middle man role. Dr Asif Ali, Director ORIC UAF and Dr. Mubashar Mehdi also attended the meeting.