Higher Education Commission Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmad said that universities build communities by imparting higher education and guiding the policy makers, and urged researchers and experts to come up with innovative ideas and give suggestion to the policy makers for promotion of the agriculture and energy sectors.

Dr Mukhtar said that researches should be translated into goods and services. He said that the country was under the grip of water scarcity as the per capita water availability has reached to the dangerous level. He said that the HEC was making efforts to promote the education, quality researchers and trained manpower to address the issue of the common man.

Earlier, an agricultural exhibition was inaugurated at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad with establishment of more than 40 stalls of different models, handicraft on agriculture, food and textile industry. It was inaugurated by the Higher Education Commission chairman along with UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad, Austrian International Institute for Applied System Analysis Director General Dr Pavel Kabat, Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University VC Dr Rai Niaz,  Famers Associates of Pakistan leader Afaq Tiwana and University of Poonch, Rawalakot VC Dr Manzoor Hussain Khan.

Tens of speculators come in piles at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad to enjoy the colours of agricultural exhibition began on Saturday. It is part of UAF ongoing six-day Spring Festival that will continue till March 23.

On the occasion, Dr Iqrar said that the country was passing through multiple challenges including food insecurity, water issue and unemployment. He said that the festival was meant to provide a platform to the farming community, common man, scientists, academia, industry and policy makers to sit together and to find out the way to jack up agricultural productivity. He stressed a need for development of rural areas as the poverty alleviation was directly linked to it. He said that the research portfolio of the UAF has touched Rs 2 billion.

Dr Pavel Kabat stressed enhancing scientific partnerships with academic community and development of strategic collaboration. He said that the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) established in 1972 had been conducting policy-oriented research into problems of a global nature that are too large or too complex to be solved by a single country or academic discipline. He said IIASA has 22 member organisations representing Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. He said that IIASA 2011-2020 research plan focuses on three major global problem areas facing humanity including energy and climate change; food, water, poverty and equity.

Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad said that per acre production of the country was very low compared to the other countries. He said that step up efforts are needed on the part of scientists, academia, and other stakeholders to address the issue.