April 6, 2015
Islamabad; April 6, 2015: The inaugural ceremony of 1st batch of training course of Agriculture Extension Officers of Directorate General of Agriculture Extension from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) was held in the auditorium of National Agriculture Research Centre (NARC) on April 6, 2015
The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and National Agriculture Research Centre (NARC) requested JICA to support the Capacity Development of Agriculture Extension Services in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Keeping in view the importance of the development of agriculture sector, JICA agreed to support three years project "Capacity Development of Agriculture Extension Services in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province" under the framework of JICA's cooperation for stabilization and development of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border areas.
Under the project, Agriculture Poly-technique Institute (API) NARC will train 100 Agriculture Officers & Subject Matter Specialists and 250 Field Assistants of Directorate of Agriculture Extension (KP). The training consist lectures, practical demonstration as well as field visit for on field orientation to the participants. For dissemination of knowledge about new agricultural practices, and farming techniques to farmers, JICA will also provide equipment to 25 Model Farms Service Centers in KP province besides providing necessary equipment to Agriculture Poly-technique Institute at NARC to strengthen its capacity.
The Japanese expert briefed the participants on the methodology and overview of the project which includes the practical training at NARC as well as field implementation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Mr. Mitsuyoshi Kawasaki, Chief representative of JICA while speaking at the inaugural ceremony said "agriculture is the major source of livelihoods in Pakistan particularly in KP province. Agriculture and livestock combined provide livelihoods to 83% of the people living in rural areas and contribute 21% to provincial GDP and engage more than 36% of the labour force of KP". He further said "through JICA assisted project the capacity of Agriculture Extension staff of the KP province will be strengthened, which will improve extension services for farmers and ultimately increase the agriculture productivity and farmer's income. This will also contributes in the livelihood improvement, economic growth, poverty reduction and food security in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa".
Dr. Iftikhar Ahmed, Chairman Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) in his remarks mentioned that this is very important project particularly for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as for Pakistan. He appreciated the concept and methodology of the project which will strengthen the weak link between research and extension for dissemination of latest agriculture development and new techniques to farmers at grass root level.
The chairman thanked Government of Japan and JICA for their cooperation for establishment of Plant Genetic Resource Institute (PGRI) at NARC which is one the best institute in Asia. PGRI is supplying Germplasm of the different corps not only within Pakistan but also globally.
The Inaugural Ceremony was attended by Chief Representative, JICA Pakistan office; Chairman PARC, Director General of Directorate General of Agriculture Extension, KP, Director General, National Agricultural Research Centre, (NARC), Members Social Sciences Division, PARC, Directors and officials of different institutes in NARC.
Group photo of the participants with guests