FAISALABAD: University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) intends to showcase its inventions, products and technologies in Faisalabad in collaboration with the business community for which cooperation between industries and academia is pre requisite, said UAF Vice Chancellor Muhammad Ashraf.
During a meeting with Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) President Rana Sikandar Azam, he said that the food technology department of the university has been preparing nutrition-rich, hygienic and cheap food items under the brand name of “Unifood”.
Commenting on infestation of the cotton crop, he said that there are 600 pesticide companies in Pakistan. Most of them change their title every year to hide themselves after supplying substandard and adulterated pesticides in addition to providing unapproved varieties of seeds. “We must check this practice to save our farmers from collateral damage,” he remarked.
Talking about the country’s trade deficit, the vice chancellor said that our exports are stuck at $20-22 billion while Bangladesh has made great strides in this area. Citing the example of Singapore, he said they had witnessed a phenomenal increase of up to $550 billion.
Stressing on research and development, Ashraf said that previously there had been no international laboratory for the testing of yarn and clothes.
However, now there was a fully-equipped and latest laboratory available in the National Textile University (NTU) and textile exporters can take advantage of this facility. Underlining the importance of industry-academia linkages, he said that the university intends to work with local industrialists as it is a prerequisite to resolve the problems confronted by the industrialists in addition to opening new doors for value addition.
He further said that industrialists must take advantage of premier education and research institutes housed in Faisalabad.
Speaking on the occasion, the FCCI president said that the business community had some serious reservations about the role and productivity of our scientists. He said that despite Pakistan being an agriculture country, we were spending billions of rupees to import tea, edible oil and many other commodities, which could be produced within the country.
Regarding trade deficit, he remarked that our trade volume is $50 billion. “Our export is only $23 billion while we are getting another $19 to $20 billion from foreign remittances,” he said, adding that we were forced to borrow to meet financing requirements.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 7th, 2019.