SARGODHA-An international symposium on ‘Innovative Trends in Agricultural Sciences’ was organised by Agriculture College of University of Sargodha (UoS) in collaboration with Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Punjab Agricultural Research Board (PARB).
The speakers of the three-day international symposium highlighted the deplorable situation with slow advancement in agriculture sector.
Many among the International speakers were of the view that it was possible to eradicate hunger in the next generation by achieving the targets of Sustainable Agriculture Development (SAD) and working together to achieve the goal. As the world population continues to grow, much more efforts and innovation will be urgently needed in order to sustainably increase agricultural production, improve the global supply chain, decrease food losses and waste, and ensure that all who are suffering hunger and malnutrition have access to nutritious food , the speakers maintained.
A senior professor of the University of Southern Mississippi, US Dr. Shahid Karim shared his ideas through Skype on ‘’ Choosing the Way Forward: Connecting the dots in foods, health and environment. He highlighted that Pakistan has big agriculture sector representing 20.9% of the country’s total gross domestic product and employs 43.4% of the country’s total workforce. The role of livestock sector in rural agriculture economy is crucial, as 30-20 million people in the rural population rely on the sector for their livelihoods, he added.
A renowned academic figure of South China Agriculture University Dr Liu Qingting discussed Sugarcane production through mechanization. He vowed to convert sugarcane production from manual work to mechanization in order to compete with international market. He also shared some mechanized methods of production including sugarcane chip bud technology for using bud instead of whole cane sets, trench planting method for intercropping to meet the maximum net return from same unit area, pit plant/ring-pit planting in order to maintain the plant population and sugarcane cutter cum planter etc. Associate professor of University of Putar Malaysia Dr Siva K Balasundram emphasized on improved farming system along with new technologies and business models can create decent jobs. To overcome resource constraints enable greater market participation and lesson physical hardships in agriculture particularly for women and youth.
Member of Pakistan Research council Dr Anjum said that land, healthy soils, water and plant genetic resources are key inputs into food production, and their growing scarcity in many parts of the world makes it imperative to use and manage them sustainably. He added that boosting yields on existing agricultural lands, including restoration of degraded lands, through sustainable agricultural practices would also relieve pressure to clear forests for agricultural production.
Dean Faculty of Agriculture Dr Muhammad Afzal showed appreciation for the participation of esteemed national and international research scholars of agriculture across the world. He said that increase in integrated decision-making processes at national and regional levels are needed to achieve synergies and adequately address trade-offs among agriculture, water, energy, land and climate change.
UoS Vice Chancellor Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed appreciated the faculty of agriculture, UoS symposium organisers, their team and the international guest speakers. He inspired and engaged the audience with his talk and stated that agriculture systems worldwide must become more productive and less wasteful. He added sustainable agricultural practices and food systems, including both production and consumption, must be pursued from a holistic and integrated perspective. He further added that wise management of scarce water through improved irrigation and storage technologies, combined with development of new drought-resistant crop varieties, can contribute to sustaining dry lands productivity.
At the end of symposium, Dean Faculty of Agricultural Dr Afzal distributed the memorial shields and souvenirs among the speakers. It is to be mentioned that three day international symposium started on 23rd of November in which research scholars, professionals and academia across the world participated.