ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Chairman Dr Nadeem Amjad stated that livestock was the future of the country’s poor farmers with small lands. While addressing the inauguration ceremony of the Small Ruminants Model-cum-Training Farm in Umerkot, Kundri, Dr Amjad said that the government fully supported PARC’s Agriculture Innovation Programme for the promotion of agriculture and livestock in Pakistan, adding that the prosperity of country was only possible through democracy.He urged the agriculture scientists to focus and target small farmers by transferring necessary technology, besides educating them on new innovations/verities and breeds. He briefed the stakeholders about research and development activities launched in different ecologies of Pakistan under the PARC system. “Through these valuable research and development activities, the poor famers’ community got higher productivity in rural areas of Pakistan,” he added. He said the services of PARC and the Nutrition and Food Sciences Research (NFSR) were always available to the Sindh government for the upliftment of the farmers’ community.Advisor to Sindh Chief Minister Nawab Muhammad Taimur Talpur inaugurated the shed as chief guest of the seminar. The advisor appreciated the initiatives taken by the International Livestock and Research Institute (ILRI) with coordination of PARC’s Arid Zone Research Institute (AZRI), Umerkot. ILRI representative Dr Muhammad Islam presented the overall view of AIP in Pakistan, including Sindh, while PARC member Dr Shahid Rafiq briefed about the livestock production systems in Pakistan.PARC Animal Sciences member Dr Razzaq explained in detail regarding the concept of small ruminant model farming in Pakistan. He pointed out that in the AIP, 10 model farms have been completed, of which three were located in Umerkot, Sindh. He emphasised for having at least 20 more with rearing, especially specific sheep/goats breed as nucleus flocks.AZRI Director Dr Attaullah briefed about the research and development activities including model farm launched in Umerkot. Public representatives, including elected chairmen and others, also addressed the event and highlighted the problems of small farmers.Dr Nadeem Amjad and Dr Aamer Irshad planted Pitheclobicum dulce at AZRI farm. The team then presided to Kunri to inaugurate animals sheds under International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) at Pathanabad near Kunri, where local farmers constructed animal sheds on sharing basis (50% were paid by ILRI-ICARDA and 50% by farmers).Each shed was made at a cost of Rs 700,000 only. The main objective of the model farm was to demonstrate integrated model farm concept to small ruminant’s farmers for higher productivity linked with improved value chain system. In addition, development of integrated farmer participatory animal-fodder-range production approaches for proper benefits to the poor farmers.It is anticipated that through these model farms, different proven technologies indirectly involved in small ruminants production like feed, fodder and range would be disseminated to the farmers at doorsteps. The development of linkages of farmers with quality service providers would also improve the overall production.PARC Chairman Dr Nadeem Amjad, Ministry of Planning Commission Food and Agriculture Chief Dr Aamer Irshad, PARC Plant Sciences member Dr Ahmed Bakhash Mahar, ICARDA senior scientist Dr Muhammad Islam, Regional Agricultural Development Program (RADP) Planning and Development member Dr Sarfraz Ahmad, PARC Animal Sciences member Dr Shahid Rafiq, Protocol Director Sardar Ghulam Mustafa and SARC Director General Dr Amjad Parvez visited AZRI, PARC, Umerkot.