FAISALABAD: Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) Chairman Engineer Jawed Salim Qureshi on Wednesday emphasised that agriculture was the backbone of national economy and was directly linked to poverty alleviation.
“Collaborated efforts are needed for supporting the farming community, the downtrodden segment of society, and to promote modern and smart technology for increasing per-acre productivity,” he said.
Speaking at the annual convention of Pakistan Society of Agricultural Engineers, arranged by the faculty of Agriculture Engineering at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF), Qureshi stressed the need for developing an entrepreneurship culture among engineers, keeping in view the market and unemployment challenges.
He announced that the PEC would create the Engineering Construction Bank to provide interest-free loans to young engineers for setting up start-up companies and to address issues of the modern era.
The PEC chairman said the engineering council was adequately equipped to shoulder the responsibility of constructing dams if given the opportunity. “Pakistan has the capacity to produce low-priced electricity, but unfortunately we are not tapping the potential.”
High cost of electricity was hampering exports, he said, adding that in engineering-related departments of the government, there must be engineers on top slots for better results.
UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Muhammad Ashraf said, “We have to narrow down the gap in industry-academic linkages. Engineers should come up with low-cost agro-technology for small farms so that per-acre production can be increased manifold.”
Value addition in the agriculture and food sector was the need of the hour in order to compete with the rest of the world, stated Ashraf and added that in China, the agriculture department regulated agro-zoning and implementation of agricultural reforms.
He said such a model was the prerequisite to fight challenges of the modern era. “We have developed the Seed Act in the country, but still we are facing numerous problems in its implementation,” he added.