Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Board of Governor (BoG) on Thursday approved a Rs3.246 billion (USD$30 million) budget for the year current financial year 2013-14 in order to meet its development and recurring expenditure.
Rs2,373 million of the total budget has been allocated for non-development spending with a grant of 10% 'Ad hoc Relief Allowance 2013' to the council employees, Rs 520.872 million will be spent on ongoing and new development projects, Rs 119.730 million for MoU Projects, Rs 162.198 million for Agriculture Linkage Programme (ALP) and Rs 70.772 million as a supplementary grant for current financial year, an official said.
Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research (NFS&R), Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan, said, "There is a need to reorganise PARC on modern lines, particularly after devolution as a number of functions has been devolved to the provinces." He urged the PARC management to establish a Talent Pool of scientists to ensure continuity in transfer of knowledge and all other aspects.
"We need new technology and to reinvent how we produce food, where we produce it and what we eat. We need to act on all the major drivers of global food insecurity – not just on technology alone. Another area of concern is water scarcity, which we will be facing as early as 2020s and certainly by 2030. Much water that used to grow food is now being taken away by cities," he said.
He said that PARC is getting eight important projects covering aquafeed production, cold water trout fish promotion, American channel catfish nursery, Tilapia seed production and culture, introducing panagasius in pond fish culture, coastal area development, clean and true to type fruit plant nurseries.
Earlier this year, a three year aquaculture project, FEEDing Pakistan, was started in the country by the USDA, American Soybean Association (ASA) and the Fisheries Development Board (FDB). The initiative was started to improve the livelihood of Pakistan farmers and consumers through increased aquaculture productivity.
In the next 10 years demand for fish feed in the country is projected to grow from 210,000 tonnes to 1.3 million tonnes.