ISLAMABAD: Ministry of National Food Security and Research (NFSR) appreciates the efforts of the Korean mission in Pakistan for establishment of a KOPIA Center at NARC. This was said by Federal minister for NFSR,Syed Fakhar Imam on Thursday while meeting . Kwak Sung-Kyu, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea along with Dr. Cho Gyoung-rae, newly appointed Director, KOPIA Pakistan Centre.He reiterated that the Republic of Korea is one of the most trusted friends of Pakistan. Syed Fakhar Imam stated that Pakistan and Korea share a history of longstanding cooperation and friendly relations, which expands over decades. He informed that Pakistan attaches great importance to its relations with the Republic of Korea. Federal Minister said that signing of MOU between PARC and its counterpart RDA-Korea will promote cooperation in the field of agricultural research.
Federal Minister welcomed appointment of Dr. Cho Gyoung-rae as Director KOPIA Pakistan Centre and assure him full support and cooperation from Pakistan side. The Rural Development Administration (RDA) of the Republic of Korea launched the Korea Program on International Agriculture (KOPIA) in 2009 to share the Korean experiences and knowledge. Korean Embassy in Pakistan indicated that Pakistan can also take benefit of KOPIA and MoNFS&R also expressed its intention to join KOPIA. The proposal was formally taken up through EAD with the Korean side. Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) was selected as the technical organization from Pakistan side to further collaborate with the Korean side for Establishment of KOPIA Centre. Subsequently PARC and Rural Development Administration, Korea has signed the MoU on 6th August, 2020 for establishment of KOPIA Pakistan centre. KOPIA Centre will be housed at NARC, Islamabad. Dr. Cho Gyoung-rae has been recently appointed as Director KOPIA Pakistan Centre. Under the MoU KOPIA Centre’s cooperative projects and activities includes technology development projects related to agriculture and livestock which aim to increase incomes of smallholder farm households; exchange of research materials, publications and technical information; technology development activities of Korean experts and scientists at PARC as the Centre’s counterpart; Training of Pakistan researchers, extension agents, community organizations and farmers at the RDA in Korea or at the Centre Other activities which intend to promote technological cooperation in agriculture and livestock.Two sides agreed to develop new varieties of potato as the first project of cooperation under this MOU. Syed Fakhar Imam thanked financial assistance by the Korean Government of US$ 400,000/- to control the locust plague in Pakistan.Korea provided assistance to control the locust plague via United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The donation had been utilized by the FAO in conjunction with the donation from Japan for procurement of micron sprayers etc. for provision to the Department of Plant Protection. NNI