Sunday, 16 November 2014

Agriculture sector can employ thousands of young professionals

Agriculture has plenty of potential to employ and absorb thousands of young professionals in the emerging businesses starting right from farm gate to the dining table of the consumers in making tangible interventions in supply and value chain management of the sector. Said Syed Babar Ali, Pro Chancellor Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) during a special session on agribusiness opportunities in Pakistan and a round table session here at University on Saturday afternoon.

Former Secretary Agriculture Captain Arif Nadeem (Retd), Dr Kauser Abdullah Malik, Dr Zahoor Hassan, UAF VC Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, Fazal Jawad, Asif Ali Shah, Dr Aziz Mithani, Faisal Farid, Mirza Nadeem and others were the speakers of the session.

Syed Babar Ali urged the girl students to remain with the profession even after graduation and marriage and also sell their brains to explore new business and entrepreneurial ideas to pay back the investment made by their family and society at large. He underscored the need to promote faculty and student exchange program with other agricultural universities so as to affect 50,000 students of the country. He asked the University management to encourage the younger faulty for higher studies abroad and also set up a debriefing bureau to get share the foreign and local exposure that they had during their foreign visit. He asked the students to keep thinking about various steps of agricultural supply and value chain and identify the issues to be taken care of, to become entrepreneurial in that respect.

Syed Babar Ali urged the University management to arrange interaction of meritorious and promising farmers with the faculty and students at campus to get them inspired, he added. The business tycoon urged the experts to evolve a demand driven strategy to meet the challenges in their respective domain.

VC said that UAF scientists had gathered 500 indigenous mango germ plasmas and data analysis and further characterisation they introduced 10 verities of enormous yield potential and longer shelf life. He said UAF team was closing working with LUMS people to examine the genes expressions so as to identify and slow down those genes responsible for fast respiration to enhance its self life. He said two major interventions were coming in the university one is of USAID CAS with 30 million $ and other is Chinese Confucius Language Centre with plenty of scholarship opportunities. He said UAF was sending its students to India enable them to inspect explore new business ideas. He said that young researchers need to work on potato, fodder and citrus. He said there was enormous potential of new agribusiness if the students keep thinking and asking questions about the sector.

Captain Arif Nadeem (Retd) Former Secretary Agriculture and CEO Pakistan Agricultural Collation said that he can bring number of farmers and entrepreneurs who proved their metal in production, marketing and supply and value change improvement. He said new BBA Agribusiness degree program is a step towards equipping the youth with necessary information relevant to market.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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