FAISALABAD - Former foreign minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that agriculture and farmers of the country would bring the country out of financial crisis. Addressing the participants of an International Seminar on Horticulture and Agribusiness in Developing Countries jointly organised by Embassy of Republic of Indonesia and University of Agriculture Faisalabad as chief guest here on Thursday morning. Qureshi said, 19 years ago while visiting UAF we discussed future and potential of agribusiness in Pakistan but we could not find solutions thats why we do not have leadership to turn around things that are happening around us. Whenever, I happened to be in India particularly in Indian Punjab, I used to see and witness a huge farmers gatherings organised by PAU or other agricultural universities, I always wonder how we can showcase and hold such gatherings in Pakistan but today after visiting UAF, I am delighted to see the progress been made under the dynamic leadership of Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan with a spirit to serve the country and farmers and really gears up the pace of development and outreach activities and to put a positive impact on the rural masses by making them aware of the emerging business trends and equipping the rural youth with entrepreneurial skills which would certainly propels us out of poverty and hunger, he added. He emphasised the need of giving due importance to agribusiness as Pakistan has the potential to have surplus food. Agribusiness is a way forward as our per acre yield is lower than many countries of the world and at the same time, the country is surplus in producing surplus mango, citrus, date, paddy rice but we have a tremendous potential to not only feed the 180 million people of the country but we can capture the global market of halal food and milk products, he added. We need to process, add value and improve the shelve life of the perishable commodities to benefit our farmers and the country at large. Commenting on the poor living situation in Cholistan and Tharparker, Mr Qureshi said that even in the first decade of 21 century, a large population did not had access to clean drinking water and this country is highest in MMR and IMR in the developing countries. He termed his recent visits to Indonesia a very positive and constructive as during meeting with Indonesian President, he vowed to extend his full support to Pakistan in getting full dialog partner of ASIAN which will get shortly adding that Indonesian Foreign Minister remains my friend as we graduated from the same college in London in same year. We are here at a very critical time when UAf celebrating its 50 years of existence and giving us knowledge and technology to produce more for us and for Pakistan. UAF done commendable services to Pakistan that needs to be recognized adding that whenever I visited Ludihina, Ambersar or Chandigard, I used to listen the pleasant and reverent comments and questions of Indian Scientists about UAF that how UAF is? My answer was always that UAF is progressing and flourishing. Referring to Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singhs statements that the agriculture is the only way forward to bringing both countries close to each other, Mr Qureshi said that we need to extend our cooperation and share knowledge and information as we have same climate and soil textures, so we need to make our countries food surplus a built a brighter future as more than 40 percent population of both the countries has nothing to eat. This would be a good massage of co-existence through coming forth with agriculture, he added. He urged the need to produce more than the India as they are growing genetically modified cotton on rain-fed areas contrast to our cotton on canal irrigation, so we need to bring forth such varieties that are tolerant and resistant against virus and diseases with more potential of production. He expressed his dismay over the western media propaganda which used to present Pakistan, a country of non-tolerant and extremists whereas this country of 180 million is a country of warm hospitality, tolerant, and forward looking. Later, the VC presented golden jubilee mementos to Mr Qureshi.