Friday, 16 October 2015

Showcasing ASLP Phase-II

The Australian-Pakistan Agriculture Sector Linkages Program (ASLP) was launched in 2006 with a budget of A$6.6 million. The goal of ASLP was to transfer knowledge and expertise, alleviate poverty, increase research and development (R&D) and increase agricultural extensions. ASLP was then extended to ASLP phase-II for an additional 5 years, which concluded on 30 September 2015.
Left to right: Nadeem Ajmal (PARC), Dr Ejaz Qureshi (ACIAR), Dr Iftikhar Ahmad (ACIAR PAC member), H.E.Margaret Adamson (High Commissioner to Pakistan), Seerat Asghar (Secretary MNFSR), Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan (Federal Minister for MNFSR) and Dr Malik Zahoor Ahmed (Director General/Project Director NAPHIS). Source: Fariza Kamran

 To celebrate the phase-II conclusion, an event was held to showcase the program’s achievement and introduce future plans. The event was held in Serena Hotel, Islamabad. Key attendees included the Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan, H.E. Mrs Margaret Adamson and the Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research, Mr Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan. There were also many dignitaries from Government, embassies and the private sector who attended this event.

ASLP has three synergistic components that focus on pro-poor value chains, agricultural capability and enabling agricultural policy. ASLP has had over 27 active partners including the public sector, universities and private-commercial operations in Pakistan.
 
The event included addresses by Munawar Kazmi (ACIAR/ASLP), Dr Iftikhar Ahmad (member of ACIAR’s Policy Advisory Council), Nadeem Amjad (Pakistan Agricultural Research Council Chairman), H.E. Margaret Adamson, Dr Malik Zahoor Ahmed (Director General/Project Director, National Animal Plant Health Inspection Services, NAPHIS), Dr Peter Horne (General Manager, ACIAR Country Programs), Dr Richard Brettell (Agriculture Value Chain Collaborative Research Program, AVCCR) and Minister Bosan.
 
During the presentations, Dr Peter Horne gave a snapshot of the success stories of seven projects under ASLP and Dr Richard Brettell discussed the AVCCR.
Left to right: Munawar Kazmi, Dr Peter Horne, Dr Richard Brettell, David McGill. Source: Fariza Kamran 
 Minister Bosan highlighted that Pakistan mango exports have reached nearly a million tonnes with a value of around US$20 million per annum. Previously, poor orchard and nursery practices, irrigation mismanagement, inadequate pest and disease control strategies and lack of cold storage facilities were constraints to the industry. Minister Bosan reiterated that the Government has outlined the dairy sector as one of the prime sectors to improve the quality and profitability of smallholder farmers through marketing and increasing production. Minister Bosan shared his story of his involvement in ASLP in its early days.


Left to right: Fariza Kamran (ACIAR), Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan (Federal Minister-MNFSR), Mahroo Arshad (PRO-MNFSR). Source: Ministry for National Food Security and Research

Australian High Commissioner H.E. Margaret Adamson shed light on Australia’s strategy by talking about key areas of interest in Pakistan such as poverty alleviation, water resource management, fisheries, agricultural best practice, market system development, governance and technology up-scaling. She highlighted that 72% of working women are associated with agriculture, which is why Australia is strongly focused on engagement of women in economic development.
 
All government dignitaries were pleased with the outcomes of ASLP, and commended not just the outcomes, but the way the program was run. The program has created strong ties between Pakistan-Australian Governments, scientists and farmers/growers of both countries. These collaborations have led to the successful completion of ASLP.
 
By Fariza Kamran, ACIAR Pakistan Office


Further information about ASLP can be read on the ACIAR website: http://aciar.gov.au/aslp

Local media of the event can be read online:
 

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