Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar has said that the agriculture sector being the essential component of the national economy has enormous potential for alleviation of poverty.

In his message read by Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan on the 20th Convocation of the University of Agriculture Faisalabad, the governor said that the agriculture sector was the key to development, prosperity and uplift. He congratulated the students for getting their degrees from the UAF, which has been ranked 98th best university of the globe in the agricultural sciences. He hoped that the graduates by the virtue of their expertise will make their contribution to streamlining the sector in line with international standards to ensure food security. He said that education has the power to reinforce the national reforms.

On the occasion, the UAF vice chancellor congratulated the students and wished the students’ good future. He said the future is in the hands of youth and confident graduates. He said the UAF graduates will be the harbingers of initiatives to deal with challenges being faced by the country. He advised the students to prove their mettle in their respective fields. He urged them to work hard for the national progress.

He said the university since its inception in 1961, had produced around 57,000 graduates including 1,080 PhDs who are working day and night for the uplift of the country. “In 2013, 16,000 students have been enrolled in the degree programs.  Additionally, the campus is home to more than 200 skill development programmes The UAF has revamped academic, research and outreach programs and introduced 32 new degree programmes in the recent years in order to produce required manpower,” he said.

He said that the varsity had also opened satellite campuses in different districts including Toba Tek Singh, Burewala and Dera Ghazi Khan to provide quality education for the dwellers at their doorsteps. More sub-campuses and outreach centres are being proposed to the government, he added. He also lauded the Punjab government for taking tangible initiatives for education and agriculture sectors which, he termed, a guarantee for the bright future.

Controller Examination Shafqat Iqbal said more than 12,000 graduates of four years 2009, 2010, 2011and 2012 including 283 PhDs were being awarded degrees. The position holders had been awarded with 144 medals. It is happening first time in the university history that 12,000 graduates are being awarded with degrees and medals, he said.

Earlier, Registrar Muhammad Hussain led the academic procession included all deans, professors and members of academic council. Nigerian High Commissioner Dauda Danladi, MPA Rao Kashif Rahim, former minister for agriculture Sultan Ali and Hassan Ali, chairman of Pakistan Horticulture Development and Commerce also spoke on the occasion. Hafeez Sultan and Rukhsana Chaudhry donated Rs500,000 to the university.