STAFF REPORT IBD: Scientists and progressive farmers of Pakistan shared their experiences and researches at a recently held seminar in order to develop strategies in combating the emerging food crisis in the country.
The seminar was organised by Dr Viqar Sultana, Professor, Department of Biochemistry; Dr Syed Ehteshamul-Haque, Professor Department of Botany; and Dr Jehan Ara, Professor and Chairperson Department of Food Science and Technology, KU, to bridge the gap between scientists and farmers.
Highlighting the severity of the global food crisis, Dr Jehan Ara, Professor and Chairperson Department of Food Science and Technology, KU, said in her remarks that prices of foods that formed the staple diet of half of the worlds population had almost doubled during the last few years and stressed that concentrated public and private investments are crucial for boosting agricultural production.
Dr Syed Ehteshamul-Haque, Professor Department of Botany, said that farmers have lost 30 per cent of the crops through pests and other diseases plus another 25 per cent due to post harvest diseases and deterioration. But fortunately, due to advances in biotechnology and molecular biology, new products and techniques are becoming available that are helpful for the correct and timely identification of the diseases, he added.
Dr Athar Tariq (PhD, DSc), in charge Pest Detection and Emergence Projects, California, explained how the pests affected the agricultural crops and what methods should be adopted by the farmers.