Chairman Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (FIEDMC) Mian Kashif Ashfaq, met with the Vice Chancellor of University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF), Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, to discuss the current state of agriculture in the country and its way forward.
FIEDMC and UAF are planning to join hands in order to increase bilateral cooperation for a better future of the local agriculture industry. The primary objective is to add value to local products and for that purpose, UAF can provide technical assistance to enhance productivity in relevant agricultural fields.
Mian Kashif said “Pakistan is an agriculture-based economy, where majority of the population directly or indirectly depends on this sector and agriculture sector contributes around 24% to gross domestic product (GDP) and accounts for half of the employed labor force”.
He shared that agriculture has been a big source of foreign exchange earnings, but sadly the sector has been neglected, forcing people to migrate from rural to urban areas for employment opportunities.
Hence, FIEDMC has given special attention to the agriculture sector and for this purpose, Punjab’s Special Economic Zones, Allama Iqbal Industrial City and M-3 Industrial City, will house special units on food processing and agricultural appliances to boost agricultural development in the country.
He added that “FIEDMC has allocated 250 acre land in M-3 Industrial City for small and medium enterprises who want to start their business immediately after shifting there”. It was also revealed that the allocated land was acquired specially for the local investors interested to set up their industrial unit within 3 to 10 acres of land – and fortunately, a large number of investors plans to follow this blueprint.
FIEDMC Chairman also said, “Agriculture and livestock marketing have been one of the weakest links. Small farmers cannot afford to invest in marketing, therefore, FIEDMC is introducing tools to assist the farmers”.
He further said that most of the agricultural and livestock products like vegetables, fruits and milk are perishable, which require proper storage facilities. Therefore, FIEDMC will provide a set of facilities for improving the shelf life of farm commodities.
Dr. Muhammad Ashraf lauded the efforts of Mian Kashif for promoting the agricultural industry in Pakistan and acknowledged that FIEDMC can play a vital role in this regard
He stressed the need for adequate investment in agricultural research to eventually boost the economy of the country.
He said that the varsity was making extraordinary efforts to promote research culture in the country; and further added that Pakistan direly needs to adopt modern technologies and techniques to boost its agricultural growth and agro-based export.
He assured that UAF will design programmes for FIEDMC to strengthen the scientific, engineering, research and development culture. He further promised that UAF will also help the business community to deal in agricultural and food sectors to develop resilient and high-value cropping systems, proven technical solutions to combat desertification, and other related technologies that can be applied to the local context.