RAWALPINDI - Ambassador of Republic of Korea, Dr Jong Hwan Song, said that the government of Korea would do its best for the development of Pakistan and the friendship relations between the two nations will touch new heights in the spirit of cooperation and goodwill.

He said this while addressing as a chief guest at the workshop “Saemaul Undong (new village movement)” at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) on Friday.  On the occasion, Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad, Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Director General Sung Choonki, Director KOICA Je-Ho Yeon, Expert on Saemaul Undong Jeon Hae Hwang, KOICA Coordinator Mohsin Khan, Koica Programme Officer Seo GaEul and University faculty members were also present.

The Korean ambassador said that the government and people of Pakistan could make another success story by following the Korean model of Saemaul Undong and principles for sustainable economic development. While talking about Korea, he informed that in 1970s, agriculture in Korea contributed 50 per cent to the Korean industry and the per capita income of Korea was nearly 257 US dollars.

On that time visionary late President Park Chung-Hee realised the situation and started “Saemaul Undong” emphasising on economic and social reforms as the key priorities of the state. He encouraged the farmers to fight against poverty and hunger and to work for their own welfare. The ambassador informed that through this movement, after 43 years Korean per capita income raised to 23,000 US dollars and Korea emerged as a strong economy in the world.

Dr Jong Hwan Song emphasised the former KOICA funded project “Establishment of Pak-Korea Capacity Building Centre at PMAS-AAUR” was directly linked to “Saemaul Undong” for the uplifting of farming community of Pakistan and providing them an opportunity to use advance technologies in agriculture, forestry and livestock production. He believed that PMAS-AAUR could play a significant role to disseminate the “Saemaul Undong” in the rural areas of Pakistan. He hoped that this movement would play a fundamental role to develop and revitalize the rural areas, as well as to strength the partnership between both the countries.

He stated that the good working relationship with PMAS-AAUR would set the stone for better cooperation in the future till the success of our joint project.

The Embassy of Republic of Korea and KOICA would continue to participate actively with the aim of making PMAS-AAUR and Pakistan more developed and peaceful, he added.

Earlier, VC Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad welcome the distinguished guest and other KOICA officials and gave a detailed briefing on the educational, research and extension programs of the university and its future plans.

In his address, the VC indicated that KOICA project would greatly contribute to the capacity building initiatives for farming community taken by the PMAS-AAUR through training. He further stated that this would also helpful to Pakistani experts to enhance their skills and competencies in the required disciplines.

He also expressed that a comprehensive strategy has been devised in order to solve the field problems in the agriculture and livestock sectors, which have immense potential for development. The KOICA centre would have a positive transformative effect on Pakistan’s economy and would assist in alleviating the poverty, he added. He believed that academic collaboration could make an important contribution to uplift the socio-economic condition of developing countries like Pakistan if it was developed and delivered responsibly and effectively.

The VC informed the participants that varsity was currently launching a comprehensive community service programme to not only provide the routine conventional extension services but it would also assure to practically involve the university students and researchers for guidance and demonstrations to the farmers. New technological advancements, improved methods and interactive approach would be introduced to enhance the productivity at the farm level, he added.   

He further added that to provide quality vegetable seeds, certified nurseries and management techniques to the farmers, the university is undertaking a massive programme of vegetable nursery rising through advanced interventions of controlled atmosphere. This nurseries plant would be available round the year as and when required by the farmers.

Korean Ambassador Dr Jong Hwan Song, KOICA officials and PMAS-AAUR, VC Prof Dr Rai also planted a tree at the university campus. The VC also presented a shield to the ambassador.