FAO & Ministry of IT and Telecommunication singed Agreement for development of agriculture Sector

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ISLAMABAD, March 25 (APP): Ministry of IT and Telecommunication and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of United Nations here on Wednesday signed framework collaboration agreement to jointly work for the development of agriculture sector of Pakistan by using information technology.

The agreement was signed by Secretary IT & Telecommunication Shoaib Ahmad Siddique and “Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)” Representative Minà Dowlatchahi, while sitting in Pakistan and Rome, Italy respectively.

As to control the spread of Corona virus social distancing is imperative, Ministry of IT is performing all its function through use of ICT. Online signing of collaboration agreement with FAO is an example of performing official duty while ensuring social distancing. FAO country representative in Pakistan signed agreement while she was located in Italy one of the worst-hit country by Corona virus.

Speaking at the occasion, Shoaib Ahmed Siddique said that agriculture is the mainstay of Pakistan’s economy as it contributes around 20 percent in the overall gross domestic product (GDP) and is also a big source of employment.

He said that Low growth, water shortage, environmental concerns, volatile energy prices, rising expectations of consumers – these are some of the complex challenges the agriculture sector is facing today, in the face of diminishing production profit margins for farmers.

Shoaib Ahmed said that Ministry of IT and Telecommunication would do everything to resolve these challenges through technology interventions by bringing innovative solutions for increased yield and profit margins for the farmers by diminishing the role of middlemen.

Minà Dowlatchahi, FAO Representative in Pakistan through a video link thanked to Federal Secretary Ministry of IT for his kind words.

She said that innovation in agriculture in Pakistan is a necessity, small farmers are not only food producers but they are consumers and also guardians of Pakistan natural resources: soils, water, biodiversity and seeds.

She said that eighty percent of arable land is in small farms in Pakistan, the vast majority still under outdated agriculture systems. “Innovation is the process whereby individuals or organizations bring new or existing products, processes or ways of organization into use for the first time” she added.

Adding that she said “It is time to help small-holder men and women farmers in Pakistan innovate at scale, adapt to climate change, increase their incomes and contribute to the transformation of Pakistan agriculture systems”.

On the occasion, Federal Secretary Ministry of IT Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui also expressed deep grief over loss of precious lives due to Coronavirus in Italy and expressed sympathies for deceased families. He also expressed deep grief over loss of precious lives due to Coronavirus in Pakistan. He prayed to Almighty Allah to end this pandemic from the world and save the humanity.

 

APP/AHS/HB