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HYDERABAD: A two-day inter­­­na­tional conference on agriculture, food and animal sciences began at the Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam on Tuesday. Around 300 delegates, including scholars, researchers and academics from leading universities of Pakistan and experts from the United States, Germany, China, Malaysia and other countries are participating in the conference.

Chairing the inaugural session, Sindh Health Minister Dr Sikan­dar Mandhro expressed his confidence that the event would contribute to the country’s development initiatives through research and expertise.

He noted that SAU had the strength to implement major research projects on agriculture, food security and animal sciences to help the country cope with emerging challenges.

The minister told the audience that he had discussed with the SAU vice chancellor a plan to launch joint projects in the fields of medical sciences, agriculture, animal and plants sciences etc for the benefit of Sindh.

He lauded the university’s role in bringing together experts of different fields from around the country and abroad by organising the conference.

Dr Mandhro said such interactions would help resolve the problems being faced by citizens of states having agricultural economy.

The minister assured the university of all possible support in establishing a centre of excellence in agriculture science which, he said, would lead to the launch of more research projects and studies. He promised to make efforts towards granting of adequate funds for research and other projects.

SAU vice chancellor Dr Mujee­bud­din Memon Sehrai told the conference that Pakistan was blessed with resources like fertile agricultural land, ocean, wind power and many natural resources but they were not being utilised for development. He hoped that the conference would help explore avenues and opportunities in this regard through discussions among leading experts and researchers.

Recounting various activities and initiatives undertaken by SAU for the benefit of farmers, students, researchers and other stakeholders of the agriculture sector, he said such conferences were also a regular feature.

Dr Mian Nadeem Riaz from the US, Dr Javed Aziz Awan from Malaysia, Dr K.B. Mirbahar, Dr M. Saffar Mirjat, Dr Noor Mohammad Soomro and Prof M. Ismail Kum­bhar were prominent among those who attended the session.

Dr Sagheer Ahmed Shaikh, chairman of the conference organising committee, briefed the participants about the aims and objectives of the event.

Various companies dealing in food, agriculture, fertiliser, pesticides, handicrafts, etc as well as banks and NGOs have set up their stalls at an exhibition that also features at the international event. SAU departments have displayed agricultural products and equipment for public viewing.

A total of 210 oral presentations and 35 poster presentations are to be made during the proceedings of the conference.

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2017