Conference 2017 Overview

The theme of the one day conference held on April 4, 2017 at the Auditorium of the Expo Centre Johar Town Lahore was “Greening the Value Chain: Agriculture Economy & Food Systems”. The inaugural panel included the Minister for Agriculture Punjab ¬Mr. Naeem Akhtar Khan Bhabha, Acting Australian High Commissioner ¬H.E Jurek Juszczyk, Mission Director USAID Mr. John Groarke, Ambassador of the European Union ¬H.E Jean¬ François Cautain, Dr. Zaheer Ahmad from Engro Group and Director Operations The DAWN Media Group Mr. Kashif Saeed

The inaugural session was followed by two knowledge sharing technical sessions, first one on “Agriculture Production: Catalyst for National Growth and Food Security” and second one on “Importance of Value Addition for Agricultural Growth” with eminent speakers including, Mr. Ersin Turkmen – Celikel Group of Companies, Dr. Elizabeth Petersen – Principal Applied Economist & Senior Lecturer , The University of Western Australia, Dr. Iqrar Ahmed Khan – Vice Chancellor, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Dr. Ahsan Mir – Project Director ETI-IFAD, Mr. Osman Anwar – Market Development Facility, Dr. Mubashra Mukadas – USAID Project, Dr. Zaheer Ahmed – Project Head Farmer Connect Engro Fertilizers and Mr. Khalid Mehmood Khokhar – President, Pakistan Kissan Ittehad.

In this increasingly globalized world, greater attention must be paid to the dynamics of green value chains, especially agricultural value chains, given their impact on food security and livelihoods in each country. This is one of the reasons why the study of green value chains has become a major development tool used by various government and development organizations.

In line with the above, this year’s conference theme “Greening the Value Chain – Agriculture Economy & Food Systems” was intended to shed light on the current domestic as well as global scenarios that have impacted the food and agriculture sectors of Pakistan. The issue of “greening” refers to the process by which value chain participants reduce their negative economic, social and environment impact while building on successful processes, including rationalizing energy and water use, using clean and renewable energy resources, emitting less pollution effluents and wastes, adopting appropriate practices and quality and safety standards and ensuring fair trade.

Eminent speakers, panellists and subject matter experts presented their views on different issues and gave recommendations to nurture an enabling environment for the betterment of the sector. Debate and discussion identified that Government priorities and policies must be refined, markets and institutions must be strengthened and agricultural productivity and the access of farmers to the market must be improved for a flourishing agriculture sector. The panellists as well as delegates acknowledged this platform as a catalyst to influence policy makers and policy development in the future.