COMSTECH and UK-based organizations SAWiE & UPSIGN organized World Food Day 2021 at COMSTECH Secretariat. The President of Pakistan graced the occasion as chief guest. He stressed COMSTECH and OIC states to strive for nurturing hybrid cooperation among OIC states to achieve excellence in socio-economic development. Dr. Alvi emphasized the need of taking right decision at the right time in agriculture.
He urged the world politicians to stop fighting and divert trillions of dollars being spent on the wars to ensuring provision of healthy food to the growing population of the world and bringing the hunger to an end.
Dr. Alvi advised OIC states to ensure intensive use of technology to increase yield. He said we must have to reduce the gap between the farmer and the technologist. He informed that it is a right time to take decision to grab the opportunities being offered by the emerging silicon revolution. He said that OIC states must enhance cooperation on sharing their learned skills, and acquired knowledge to benefit each other. We must timely use new technique like speedy gene editing CRISPR-CASS tech to develop new seeds.
Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary, the Coordinator General COMSTECH welcomed the participants and said the inability to feed growing population in OIC states is a failure of many nations. He said food insecurity often puts nation’s internal and external security at risk.
Dr. Yerlan Baidaulet, Director General, Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS), Kazakhstan addressed the session and appreciated the efforts of the President of Pakistan for the development of S&T in OIC region. He said that food security is critical, and we should initiate programs and projects to achieve zero hunger in our nations. He invited COMSTECH to cooperate with IOFS in implementing its strategy to achieve food security goals in OIC states.
Dr. Khalid Mahmood, co-founder of SAWiE, said Pakistan is facing huge issue with food security due to climate change. He said the country has 8 million small holder farmer who own less than 5 Acre, and have low crop yield due to lack of access to quality inputs, access to finance, real time knowledge of crop health, climate change and changing weather patterns have created uncertainty in the growing conditions.
Dr. Mahmood — with President of Pakistan’s permission — launched the SAWIE app and said that this app would help farmers to achieve optimum yield. He said that SAWIE app is a satellite based ecosystem solution to guide farmers to better manage their crops through training videos and real time satellite linked knowledge on the health status of the crop. This app also guides farmers in choosing quality inputs, seed & fertilizer, irrigation, crop protection solutions, and their timely application.
The inaugural session was attended by nine ambassadors of OIC member states along with agriculture scientists and farmers. In the technical session, speakers from UAE, UK, USA and Pakistan participated.