Dr Masoud J Al-Marri, the Chairman Executive Board and Caretaker Director General of the Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS) has said that food security and sustainable agriculture have emerged as the grave issues owing to climate changes and increasing population for which coordinated efforts are required to end hunger and ensure agricultural development
FAISALABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 21st Nov, 2023) Dr Masoud J Al-Marri, the Chairman Executive Board and Caretaker Director General of the Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS) has said that food security and sustainable agriculture have emerged as the grave issues owing to climate changes and increasing population for which coordinated efforts are required to end hunger and ensure agricultural development.
He along with Director Program IOFS Prof Dr Zulfiqar Ali visited University of Agriculture Faisalabad and called on UAF Vice Chancellor UAF Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, deans and directors at syndicate room.
He said that heavy food import for the OIC countries is a challenge. Hence the strategic mission of IOFS is to ensure sustainable food security in member states.
He was of the view that they are committed to provide expertise to member states on various aspects of sustainable agriculture, rural development, food security, environmental issues and biotechnology.
He said that they are taking measures to address problems posed by desertification, deforestation, erosion, and salinity. They are managing financial and agricultural resources to enhance food security.
UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that the UAF has developed high-yielding varieties of soybeans, wheat, sugarcane, maize and other crops which would significantly increase production.
He said that Pakistan imported edible oil worth 4 billion dollars every year for which the cultivation of oilseeds will have to be increased.
He said that the weather patterns have been in a constant flux. Shifting monsoons, delayed winters, early spring heat shocks, and intense heat waves in summer, etc.
keep adding to the uncertainty.
He was of the view that climate changes started playing havoc with the agriculture sector, resulting in low productivity and breaking out of new diseases for which new varieties would have to be introduced.
He said the agriculture sector is lifeline for the country to alleviate poverty and to earn the precious foreign exchange after meeting domestic needs. Hence, it is need of the hour to adopt latest technologies to increase per acre productivity, he added.
Director Program IOFS Prof Dr Zulfiqar Ali said that amid the population of 1.9 billion people of OIC countries, the food net import has crossed to $65 billion.
He said that a specialized food security entity within the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was announced on June 08, 2011 during the 7th session of the World Islamic Economic Forum in Astana, Kazakhstan.
He said that a delegation will visit the UAF soon to witness hybrid wheat seed.
Pro-Vice Chancellor/Dean Faculty of Agriculture Prof Dr Muhammad Sarwar Khan, Deans Prof Dr Ijaz Bhatti, Prof Dr Rana Azam, Dr Khalid Mushtaq, Dr Qamar Bilal, Dr Farzana Rizvi; Director Research Prof Dr Jafar Jaskani, Principal Officer PRP Prof Dr Jalal Arif, DG NIFSAT Prof Dr Imran Pasha, Director External Linkages Prof Dr Muhammad Saqib, CAS Prof Dr Sultan Habib Ullah, Director Animal Sciences Prof Dr Riaz Virk, Director IBMS Dr Abdul Ghafoor Director Graduate Studies Dr Khalid Bashir, Prof Dr Asif Kamran, Dr Farzana Maqbool, Dr Zahir Ahmad, Director Water Management Dr Nadeem Akbar, Dr Saqib and other attended the meeting.
Later, the delegation also visited the UAF labs.