RAWALPINDI - Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) and the Republic of South Korea have agreed to initiate collaborative research projects in the field of agriculture, particularly for promotion of soybean cultivation in the country.

It was decided in a meeting held between PMAS-AAUR Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad and Korean delegation headed by Korean Ambassador in Pakistan Jong Hwan Song here on Thursday. They discussed the possibilities of collaboration in academic, research, training and value chain activities for the development of agriculture sector.

The visiting delegation exchanged views with PMAS-AAUR academic leadership and applauded its numerous steps to develop the institutional relations with leading institutions and corporate entities. Both parties shared views for joint efforts that are important for potential expansion of future collaborations. In a meeting, it was decided that they would work together to create awareness among farming community for Soybean cultivation. Participants also decided to cooperate in education and research in areas of mutual interest and to establish mutual scientific, educational and cultural programmes to assert and consolidate relationships between the two countries.

Both parties also agreed  to train farmers as how to increase their farm productivity, more effective means for production of superior quality seeds, post-harvest handling of crops, value-addition and marketing and advanced on-farm management.

On the occasion, Korean Ambassador Jong Hwan Song said that soybean was one of the most valuable crops in the world not only as an oil seed crop but also as a good source of protein for the human diet. He appreciated the efforts of PMAS-AAUR in the development of higher education and research, especially in the field of arid agriculture, where the harvestable resources are limited. The delegation thanked the VC Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad for providing an excellent opportunity to visit the campus and updating about ongoing research activities of the university.

Earlier, VC briefed the delegation on the academic, research and extension programmes of the university and its role in the development of agriculture sector. The VC said that scientists were working to reduce the cost of production in the country and make the crop profitable for farmers. The efforts were being made to promote soybean crop in Pothowar area to exploit the potential.

He said the university has its own farm on the Chakwal Road for hands-on training of students. He said that the university was actively involved in extension activities and working with the farmers to focus on the development agriculture of small farmers. He further said that university’s overall objective was to promote economic growth by bringing more farms and more acres under cultivation with improved technologies and management practices to increase the agricultural productivity.