LAHORE  - USAID Pakistan Deputy Mission Director Julie Chen and Minister for Agriculture Muhammad Naeem Akhtar Khan Bhabha on Thursday inaugurated the Secretariat of Punjab Agriculture Commission (PAC) which was created with the support of the United States government through USAID’s Punjab Enabling Environment Project. 

The commission will be responsible for formulating agriculture policy for the province. USAID’s Punjab Enabling Environment Project is $15 million project to improve the business environment in the livestock, dairy and horticulture sectors of Punjab. Through this project, USAID provides grants and technical assistance to the Punjab Agriculture Department to help the PAC devise a comprehensive agriculture policy. 

“The potential for agricultural innovation and new approaches to drive growth is enormous and this is how the role of entities such as the Punjab Agriculture Commission is the most important. The constitution of the Punjab Agriculture Commission and its efforts to formulate the Agriculture Policy for Punjab demonstrate how the government of Punjab provides a strategic direction for growth in this sector,” Chen remarked. 

On the occasion, Minister for Agriculture Bhabha thanked the US government for its continued support to the Agriculture Department and elaborated on the role of the PAC. “The commission will develop the Punjab government’s agriculture policy to ensure effective public sector resource utilisation and provide strategic direction for sector growth by creating synergies within various sub-sectors as per the vision of Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif. This will not only help leverage economic benefits for Punjab but will also contribute towards self-reliance, food security and promotion of high value crops in agriculture in the province,” the minister added. US Consul General Lahore Yuriy Fedkiw, commission members and sector stakeholders also attended the inauguration.