ISLAMABAD: Presid­ent Dr Arif Alvi on Friday urged the nation to cast votes with responsibility and due diligence to elect leaders who could rid the country of prevailing crisis and put the country on the path of progress.

“People should cast their votes with utmost responsibility and due diligence to select their representatives who are capable of taking smart and speedy decisions and to oversee their timely and accelerated implementation,” the president said while speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the National Centre of Industrial Bio­technology at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi.

“Elections and voting provide the citizens with the opportunity to carefully choose their representatives so that they could provide quality leadership and put the country on the path of progress, prosperity and development,” Mr Alvi said.

Mr Alvi said the country lacked the institutions, relevant laws and supporting policies to keep pace with changes happening in the world at a lightning-speed and implement wealth-generating ideas in the country.

He said the country needed to develop intellect-based highly responsive institutions and systems capable of making smart decisions and keeping pace with the developed countries which would help generate products and services which could be readily accepted in the international markets.

President Alvi said that Pakistan, despite be­­ing an agricultural country, unfortunately suffered from malnutrition and a shortage of agricultural commodities. But it had the potential to be self-sufficient and export surplus food to other countries, he said.

“This can be achieved by developing creative and innovative agriculture processes and techniques which in the developed world had led to the development of high-yielding crops req­uiring minimum inputs,” the president said.

He called upon the research institutions of the country and the agriculturists to learn from the best global agricultural practices and combine them with indigenous research to produce high-yielding seeds and crops, besides adopting cost-effective vertical farming and hydroponic agricultural techniques to substantially increase the agricultural output of the country.

He said the country needed to communicate and transfer current agricultural knowledge and techniques to farmers at the grassroots level besides promoting water-efficient means of irrigation to help transform centuries-old cultivation and irrigation methods prevalent in the country.

“This will not only help the country achieve self-sufficiency but will also help improve the life and livelihood of the country’s farmers,” he added.

He stressed the need for use of scientific inventions by research institutes to develop customised systems and solut­ions and perpetually communicate them to farmers for the optimal utilisation of land, seed, water and human input.

Published in Dawn, January 21st, 2023

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