UK EVENT: GCRF Pakistan Food Security, Agriculture & Nutrition Workshop
SOUTH ASIA GCRF WORKSHOP
From 30th April - 1st May, 2019, UP-SIGN's Agriculture & Nutrition Co-leads: Professor Tariq Butt and Dr Khalid Mahmood coordinated a South Asia GCRF workshop at Swansea University, in affiliation with UPSIGN. This two-day workshop focused on food security, agriculture and nutrition all of which are time sensitive issues of Pakistan in the current day. This was a collaborative event where over thirty senior scientists from top universities, research institutes and industry partners came together. These were from both Pakistan and the UK taking part in various discussions.
Importance of the Workshop:
Agriculture, food and nutrition are important for any country but for Pakistan, the agricultural industry provides a quarter of the country’s GDP. It is the main source of food security, employment and women engagement.
The challenges addressed:
Smart surveillance systems to monitor and forecast crop pests and disease. Using on ground, UAVs, and satellite applications.
Smart monitoring of livestock diseases especially those that can be also be transmitted to humans (zoonoses).
Developing bio-control strategies and produce biopesticides in Pakistan (for which there is a growing demand).
Addressing the issue of AMR (antimicrobial resistance) both in humans and livestock.
Reducing post-harvest losses and addressing the issue of food safety due to mycotoxins.
Dr Khalid Mahmood appreciated the efforts from both countries and offered support to develop consortium's going forward. These will focus on addressing the UN Sustainable goals of hunger (SDG 2), poverty (SDG 1), women development (SDG 5) and education (SDG 4).