H.E. Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, EU Ambassador to Pakistan, visited the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF) to discuss the TRTA II activities and witness the specific TRTA II intervention being carried out by the various institutions working within the aegis of UAF.
During the briefing in the syndicate room, Vice Chancellor, UAF briefed the Ambassador about the University and the collaborative work of UAF with other agencies.
The Canadian High Commissioner to Pakistan was also present at the briefing.
The Vice Chancellor informed the delegates that university has 6 on-going research projects with Canada, whereas with the EU/EU member states there are several on-going projects.
The Canadian High Commissioner was keenly interested in developing Trade linkages with Pakistan in the dairy, horticulture and Livestock sectors and proposed the engagement of Canadian Institutions/Universities to work with counterparts in Pakistan. He also indicated his willingness to be more actively engaged with EU and related programmes and appreciated the TRTA II efforts to coordinate donor activities. He further added that he would ensure participation for the Canadian delegation in any future meeting linked to donor coordination.
Afterwards, the EU Ambassador visited the Post Harvest Research Laboratory of the Institute of Horticulture Sciences (IHS). The Ambassador was please to see the work done by IHS for the development of Codes of Practices in Kinnow and Mango sectors. The EU Ambassador was keenly interested in the proposal to brand Pakistan mangoes and kinnows as Multan mango and Sargodha kinnow using GI as the tool. Furthermore, the concept of selling Sargodha kinnows as a juiceable “orange” was also appreciated as this kinnow has a unique blend of Citric Acid and sugars that is not found elsewhere. The EU Ambassador endorsed this view stating that independent studies carried out on this aspect supported these findings.
The Ambassador also visited the National Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFSAT). The Director General NIFSAT briefed the Ambassador about the Post Graduate Diploma Course in Food Safety and Controls launched by NIFSAT through TRTA II support to strengthen the food safety inspection and control system in Pakistan. The EU Ambassador lauded the efforts of NIFSAT in launching such a programme and appreciated the institutions willingness to carry forward the Diploma course and convert it into a full-fledged degree programme, particularly after receiving accreditation from REHIS. The Ambassador then visited the various laboratories and food processing plants of NIFSAT.