Mr. Michel Moraine, vice president of International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD ) called on Mr. Sikandar Hayat Khan Boson, Minister of national Food security & Research here in Islamabad today. IFAD works with Pakistan Government to develop and finance programs that enable rural poor people to overcome poverty, and it is a major development partner of Pakistan since 1978. IFAD’s activities are guided by the sustainable development goals 2030 (SDGs), government policies and strategies for poverty reduction vision 2025, and IFAD strategic framework 2011-2015. The strategic objective of IFAD aims to ensure that at the national level, poor rural men and women have better and sustainable access to natural resources, improved agriculture technologies, transparent and competitive agriculture input and produce market and broad range of financial services. Federal Minister commended the IFAD’s role in development of agriculture sector. He said Pakistan’s 43% labor force is generated by this very sector. The role of IFAD to address the rural areas should be prioritized; it must get to union council level to become more effective and result oriented. He further told the delegation that after the eighteenth amendment and consequent devolution to the provinces the research is now domain of both and provincial governments and we need much more investment in the field of research. The Vice president of IFAD expressed his desire that countries like Pakistan should do the knowledge sharing of experiences and their solutions with rest of the member states. The minister told the Vice President of IFAD about the water issue of Balochistan and the subsequent project in collaboration with the provincial government in this regard; it was told that both provincial and federal governments decided to bear the cost of this project; he further asked IFAD to assist Pakistan in the project and also seek the potential donors. In the meeting rain water harvesting potential was also discussed, which is quite promising in Balochistan, and parts of Southern Punjab. PARC is doing research in this regard about small dams by solar pumping facility. Federal Minister asked for IFAD’s assistance to make it workable. Mr. Mordasini told the minister that water resource development is IFAD’s priority; we are proud of Pakistan’s contribution in shaping the water resource development.
Federal Minister told the VP, IFAD that Pakistan government is serious in the uplift and progress of Agriculture and food security project. He said powdered milk is imported and which is not helpful for local industry and the proposals are prepared to impose heavy duty on imported milk to help flourish the local industry and help the poor farmers who possess one or two animals. In the meeting the federal Minister discussed the climate change issue and its impact; we are really impacted by the climate change in the form of floods, drastic fluctuation of temperatures etc. Pakistan is very serious in tackling the issue and the Ministry prepared the agriculture development plan for PM and interestingly few proposals were related to climate driven agriculture. Federal Minister also discussed his desire to renew the project about food and mouth disease (FMD) with the help of FAO and IFAD ; the project was concluded in September last year ; this disease in animals is quite a big challenge and we need to surmount the challenge, as livestock has more potential in Pakistan than crops. In the meeting considerable mutual cooperation was promised in future. Mr. Secretary, Additional secretary were also present in the meeting.