FAISALABAD - Federal Secretary Science and Technology Fazal Abbas Maken on Monday said that research for solving problems and mechanism of translating the knowledge into products and services are prerequisite to alleviate poverty and to compete with the rest of the world.

He addressed the appreciation ceremony for the winners of research productivity award and technology development fund. Pakistan Council for Science and Technology Chairman Dr Anwarul Hassan Gillani and UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan also spoke.

The ceremony was organised by Office of Research, Innovation and Commercialisation, University of Agriculture Faisalabad at the meeting room.

Maken said that majority of the population was living in rural areas and the national economy depends on agriculture. "If we are able to better agriculture practices and varieties, it will better our economy." He urged the experts to reach out to farming community about latest technologies and trends that will increase the productivity. He said that it was a challenge for the social scientists.

He said that the strong academia-industry and society ties will pave the way for making the development and prosperity. He said that the quality and demand driven research will help cope with the challenge facing the country.

Pakistan Council for Science and Technology Chairman Dr Anwarul Hassan Gillani stressed upon the scientists to conduct the goal-oriented research. He said setting the goal in life was most important that pushed oneself toward the success and prosperity. He said that team work in the research was vital to bring the change on the face of science and technology. He said that research productivity award and technology development fund are hallmark step to motivate the researches and flourish the economy. He lauded the efforts being made on the part of the UAF for the quality education, research and outreach programme.

The UAF vice chancellor said that the country was importing the pulses and edible oil worth billions of rupees. He added, "If we promote cultivation, we can not only overcome the import but also earn foreign exchange. UAF is bringing strategic interventions to reduce the import bill of edible oil."

He said that it was a matter of grave concern that 40 percent of the population was malnourished. He said that it was due to poor eating habits. "If we bring the diversification in our food, we can overcome it," he said.

The county can save 16 MAF of water, more than Tarbela and Mangla dams storage, by reducing two irrigation for wheat crop from five to three times, with the adoption of  water efficient wheat varieties and its harvesting on latest trends countrywide.

He said that UAF research portfolio had crossed Rs2.5 billion. He said that the UAF was providing financial assistance worth Rs750 million to the deserving students belonging to marginalised segment of the society.

ORIC Director Dr Zahir Ahmad Zahir said that in the research productivity award, the UAF 31 scientists had won the award and UAF stood first countrywide. He said that the University also outshone in Higher Education Commission Technology Development Fund projects and stood first across the country by bagging 11 projects. Dr Raheed Ahmad and Dr Abdur Rasheed also spoke on the occasion.

They also appreciated the Laboratory Girls High School student Maira Younas for topping Faisalabad board in matriculation results by securing 1,090 marks out of 1,100. They also appreciated Laboratory Girls High School student Faiqa Mujtaba for topping the 8th class examination in the district.