USAID Pakistan Deputy Mission Director Julie Chen and Agriculture Minister Muhammad Naeem Akhtar Khan Bhabha inaugurated the Secretariat of Punjab Agriculture Commission (PAC) Thursday which was created with the support of the US through USAID’s Punjab Enabling Environment Project (PEEP).
The commission will be responsible for formulating agriculture policy for the province. USAID’s Punjab Enabling Environment Project is a five-year, $15 million project to improve the business environment in the livestock, dairy and horticulture sectors of Punjab. Through this project, USAID provides grants and technical assistance to the PAC to help it devise a comprehensive agriculture policy.
“The potential for agricultural innovation and new approaches to drive growth is enormous and this is how the role of entities such as the PAC is the most important. The constitution of the Punjab Agriculture Commission and its efforts to formulate the agriculture policy for Punjab demonstrate how the government of Punjab provides a strategic direction for growth in this sector,” deputy mission director Chen remarked.
At the event, agriculture minister Bhabha thanked the US government for its continued support for the agriculture department and elaborated on the role of the PAC. “The commission will develop the Punjab government’s agriculture policy to ensure effective public sector resource utilisation, providing strategic direction for sector growth by creating synergies within various sub-sectors as per the vision of Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif. This will not only help leverage economic benefits for Punjab, but it will also contribute towards self-reliance, food security and promotion of high-value crops in agriculture in the province.”
US Consul General Lahore Yuriy Fedkiw, commission members and sector stakeholders also attended the inauguration.