FAISALABAD-Agricultural contents need to be made an essential part of electronic media headlines to guide people, especially in rural area about the modern trends in agriculture as majority of the population is live in villages.

This was stated by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Chairman Absar Alam while addressing a seminar on "role of electronic media in economy and agriculture sector in Pakistan" here on Tuesday. The seminar presided over by UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad was organised by Public Relations and Public Relations Department, UAF.

He urged the media to dedicate time for agricultural content that will help farming community in increase the productivity. He said media is the fourth pillar of the state and have the power to influence masses' mind and opinion building. He said that 70 percent economy of the country depends on agriculture as the sector dominates economy by providing food, employment, income and foreign exchange. He said that electronic media can play a pivotal role by assisting in the delivery of accurate and timely information for agri sector. Electronic media is the most reliable and quick source of information to get updates on weather, and knowledge about new techniques and technologies. He said that world ranked universities like Harvard University, Cambridge University etc are having the Endowment Fund in which business men are providing funds for research and development and other facilities. He urged the business class of Faisalabad to fund an agricultural based TV Channel at the UAF for the farming community of the country.

He said: "the media groups are not highlighting real issue of the public. The focus of all programs is revolving around the politics and sensitisation. Whereas, real issues of public remains at the distance. He said that Indian and Pakistan media are the most difficult which depend upon the sensitization. He said that Pakistani media among the freest in Asia when it comes to covering politics. He was of the view that it is not only the fault of the media persons but also of the public who wants to watch such things. He said that media didn't give proper time to Indian Held Kashmir issue. He said that out of 91, only four channels are going in profit and rest of them are facing the loss.

He said that the PEMRA was a revolutionary body and all possible steps are being taken. He said that according to article 19 of constitution of Pakistan, the Every citizen shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, and there shall be freedom of the press, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of the glory of Islam or the integrity, security or defence of Pakistan or any part thereof friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, [commission of] or incitement to an offence." He said that there were 91 total satellite TV channels out of which only five are educational, one agriculture based whereas 50 entertainments and 35 news channels. He said that the 60,000 cable operators are working in the country.

UAF VC Dr Iqrar urged the media to give proper time for agriculture sector. He said that time specific for agriculture sector on the electronic media is negligible. He said that the country is having the abundant food but 40 percent of our population is food deficient mostly comprising rural population. He said that usage of electronic media would help the people to get aware with the modern trends as the TV is being watched in every village of the province.

He said that the UAF research and development budget has exceeded to Rs2.5 billion which is the highest in Pakistan. He said that this year the cotton production has faced decline worth billions of rupees. He said that the UAF has developed new varieties of cotton which is climate-tolerant. He also said that the UAF has developed ten varieties of mangoes and heat tolerant hen.

In the welcome address, Principal Officer Public Relations and Publications Dr Jalal Arif said that journalism plays an important role for the development of the country appreciated. He said that the UAF is the only institution in the country ranked among the top 100 varsities of the globe.