The agricultural productivity of major crops except corn is facing stagnation for the last two decades amid increasing population, raising a question mark on the food security , an educationist said.

University of Agriculture Faisalabad Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar urged the researchers to play their professional role to address the challenges of food security and improve the living standard. He said that government, farming community and civil society demanded out-of-box solutions to agricultural problems.

It was the matter of the grave concern that the cotton productivity had reduced to 35 percent this year due to climate changes. He urged the scientists to develop climate resilient varieties to cope with emerging challenges of agriculture. He said that Centre for Advanced Studies in Agriculture and Food Security UAF had identified ten priority areas for research that will help increase per acre productivity and reduce the post harvest losses.

He said that threat of pink bollworm, fruit fly and animal ticks are playing havoc with cotton, fruits and the livestock production. He said the marketing issue for the commodity was barring the farming community to bear the fruits. He said that poultry had emerged as the largest industry due to cotton failure. It has witnessed the sharp growth for the last two decade.

Talking about UAF, he said that the varsity research portfolio had touched more than 20 million US dollar in 728 research projects. He said that last year, the UAF had singed 118 international and 86 national MoUs which reflect the growing R&D activities of the UAF. He said, “Last year, we recruited 158 teachers to ensure quality education.” He said the UAF had organised 400 community development events to disseminate knowledge and skills.