MULTAN-Australian ambassador in Pakistan Ms Margret Adamson disclosed on Monday that her country has launched a $12 million programme for the uplift of agriculture sector in Pakistan.

She was addressing the participants of a two-day mango festival organised by Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture (MNSUA) and Punjab Agriculture Department after kicking off the event along with federal minister for food security and research Sikandar Hayat Bosan.

She added that the programme had been launched by Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and collaboration with University of Agriculture Faisalabad to conduct research in many joint programmes. She declared that joint ventures with MNSUA would be launched in coming days. She pointed out that more initiatives were needed to boost export of Pakistani mangoes.

Speaking on the occasion, the federal minister said that both the countries enjoyed close ties in agriculture sector. He said that the government launched a number of initiatives to boost mango production as Pakistani mango was the best quality mango in the world. He said that new initiatives were taken to prevent mango from fruit fly and other diseases.

Director General Agricultural Research Punjab Dr Abid, Vice Chancellor of MNSUA Dr Asif Ali and others said in their speeches said that mango was Pakistan’s prime product which could get the country precious foreign exchange. They stressed the need for enhancing mutual cooperation between Pakistan and Australia for producing and marketing mango on commercial basis.

Mango growers from across the country set up their stalls and dozens of local and foreign varieties from USA and Australia were displayed.