Islamabad: (Parliament Times) Training program under JICA supported project for “Capacity development of Agriculture Extension services in Balochistan Province inaugurated at NARC. Islamabad; The inaugural ceremony of 1st Cycle of training courses of Agriculture Officers and Field Assistants was held in the auditorium of National Agriculture Research Centre (NARC).
The Government of Balochistan and National Agriculture Research Centre (NARC) requested JICA to support the Capacity Development of Agriculture Extension Services in Balochistan Province. 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 Balochistan Province” under the framework of JICA’s cooperation for stabilization and development Agriculture Extension Services in Balochistan.
Under the project, Agriculture Poly-technique Institute (API) NARC will train 80 (30 Agriculture Officer & 50 Field Assistants) of Directorate of Agriculture Extension (Balochistan). 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 Model Farms Service Centers in Balochistan province besides providing necessary equipment to Agriculture Poly-technique Institute at NARC to strengthen its capacity.
The Japanese experts briefed the participants on the methodology and overview of the project which includes the practical training at NARC as well as field implementation in Balochistan Province. Dr.Shuichi MATSUSHIMA, Chief Representative / Team Leader of JICA while speaking at the inaugural ceremony said “agriculture is the major source of livelihoods in Pakistan particularly in Balochistan province. She further said “through JICA assisted project the capacity of Agriculture Extension staff of the Balochistan 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 Balochistan”.
Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan, Chairman Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) in his remarks mentioned that this is very important project particularly for Balochistan 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. Dr. Azeem also added that the main object of the project is to increase Pakistan’s agricultural productivity by improving skills, conducting research and increasing adoption of new agricultural practices and technologies. The trainees should improve soil fertility through demonstration and dissemination of best management practices to farmers.
The Inaugural Ceremony was attended by Chief Representative, JICA Pakistan office; Chairman PARC, Director General Agriculture Extension, Govt. of Balochistan, Director General, National Agricultural Research Centre, (NARC) and Directors and officials of different institutes in NARC