RCCI urges construction of parking plaza for China Market

* PARC, in collaboration with FAO of UN and WFP, celebrates World Food Day 2012 at NARC

Staff Report 

RAWALPINDI: Traders of China Market have been facing immense problems owing to encroachments and non-availability of parking place in the market.

Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) President Manzar Khurshid Sheikh said this on Tuesday while exchanging views with a delegation of traders association of the said market led by president Haroon Shah here at his office on Tuesday. It is need of the hour to construct a parking plaza for China Market at the earliest and strict action must be taken against the encroachers, he demanded. Group leader Najamul Haq Malik, former president Najam Rehan, senior vice president Pervaiz Warriach, vice president Nadeem Rauf, China Market Chairman Fahim Sadiqui and other members of the chamber were also present on the occasion.

Khurshid said that establishment of parking plaza in China Market is the foremost demand of the chamber and government is neglecting the voice of the business community. He said that due to the massive traffic jams and encroachments business community is facing financial loss as many customers reluctant to visit the market. He also demanded of the authorities concerned to start anti-encroachment drive to keep the traffic flow on. He stressed that businessmen class is the major contributor of the national economy hence the government must facilitate the business community for the betterment of the national interest. He ensured the delegation that Rawalpindi chamber will take every possible step for resolving the problems faced by the business community. World Food Day 2012: “Most of the global issues are related to hunger and resolution of these issues will definitely bring peace in the world,” they remarked while addressing a conference marking the World Food Day 2012.

Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Ministry of National Food Security and Research, in collaboration with Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations and World Food Programme (WFP) celebrated the World Food Day-2012 at National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) Chakshahzad, Islamabad. This year the theme of the World Food Day was ‘Agricultural Cooperatives: Key to Feeding the World’ in recognition of cooperatives’ role for improving food security and contributing to the eradication of hunger.

PARC Chairman Iftikhar Ahmad welcomed the distinguished guests, diplomats, dignities, scientists, farmers and other participants of the event. Speaking on the occasion, he said that hunger has direct relations with the peace of the world, arguing that if the issues related to food are resolved, the world would definitely become peaceful. He was of the view that agriculture sector in Pakistan was already engaged in collectives (cooperatives) however, these needed to be upgrade on modern lines to take full benefit of them. He said that cooperative have the potential to overcome the challenging food scarcity problems and ensure ‘bread for all.’ He said that the worldwide cooperatives have provided over 100 million jobs in all sectors of life and more than one billion people are members of cooperatives. In 2008, the top 300 cooperatives were responsible for an aggregate turnover of $1.10 trillion, the size of world’s tenth largest economy.

Speaking at the occasion, Federal Secretary for NFS&R Ahmad Bakash Lehri said that the government has adopted the mechanism of agriculture cooperatives with special emphasis at provincial level in the wake of 18th Amendment. He said that the government has introduced farmer friendly polices that have led to a major turnaround in the food production, particularly wheat and other food grains. The secretary said that agriculture was the driving force of the country’s economy as 67 percent of the population was depending on it while it contributes 20 percent to gross domestic product and engages 44 percent labour forces. He said that about 50 percent of industrial production is generated by the agro-based industries while about 60 percent of foreign exchange through exports of raw, semi-processed and processed products.

Message of Pakistan president was read out by PARC (NRD) Member Dr Nadeem Amjad and that of prime minister was read out by NARC CSO Dr Khalid Naeem Khawaja on the occasion, highlighting the importance of agriculture sector and promotion of cooperatives. On the occasion the message of FAO Director General Jose Graziano da Silva was read out by FAO Representative in Pakistan Kevin Gallagher. According to the message, Silva said that FAO together with United Nations and other partners will continue to strengthen and support cooperatives, as key stakeholders to open the door to new opportunities and achieve the common goal of food secure and sustainable world.

WFP Country Director Yahya Majid read out the message of the WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin who said that WFP was working with agriculture cooperatives and farmers’ organisation in many countries around the world, providing training to help improve crop quality and quantity.

An exhibition of agriculture products was also arranged at NARC, Islamabad on this occasion to create awareness about latest research and technology for enhanced food production to combat hunger across the world.

Source: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012%5C10%5C17%5Cstory_17-10-2012_pg5_13