Rawalpindi-A one-day seminar on climate change and crop quality with recent advances in the management of aflatoxin for improved crop quality and food safety was held at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR), here on Thursday.

The main objective of this seminar was to provide a platform to the experts to share their knowledge and experiences of the science behind aflatoxin production with special reference to climate change and the biological control model for aflatoxin management in Pakistan.

PMAS-AAUR Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr Qamar-uz-Zaman was chief guest while Dr Sabyan Faris Honey, Coordinator Bioscience, CABI, Dr Atif Jamal, Principal Scientific Officer, NARC Islamabad, Dean Faculty of Agriculture Prof. Dr. Fayyaz ul Hassan Sahi and faculty members of the PMAS-AAUR also address the participants.

Speaking as chief guest, Prof. Dr Qamar-uz-Zaman said that aflatoxins represent global public health and economic concerns affecting consumers and farmers worldwide. He said that factors related to food insecurity and malnutrition not only influence human health and welfare, but also affect social, economic, and political aspects of society. Highlighting challenges to the agriculture sector, he said responsibility lies on the agriculture scientists to increase value chain efficiency and help industry partners to improve their safety compliance for the benefit of consumers by sharing information, skills and technologies to meet sanitary and international standards which would not only result in food safety but food security and country’s economic condition also by exporting them to the other countries. He appreciated the effort of the agronomy department to conduct a seminar on such an important topic and said that seminars are only meant for learning but the important step starts afterwards which is the collaboration between the industry partners. He said that the world is changing very fast with each passing day.  Technologies which were meant for security purposes are now being used in the agriculture sector which is revolutionising it as the input costs are decreasing and outputs are increasing. He said that if Pakistan wants to benefit from its agriculture sector to deal with economic and food security challenges then modern agri-tech is a need of time.