Feeding the world

Agriculture, including vegetables, grain and fruit crops, is the largest sector of Pakistan's economy. (UC Davis International Programs courtesy photo)
Agriculture, including vegetables, grain and fruit crops, is the largest sector of Pakistan's economy. (UC Davis International Programs courtesy photo)

UC Davis and Pakistan launch $17 million food and agricultural partnership

Dignitaries from around the world gathered at UC Davis recently to celebrate the launch of a $17 million project linking UC Davis and Pakistan's leading agricultural university to help solve Pakistan’s challenges in energy, water, and food security. UC Davis will receive $10 million of the funds.

The new U.S.-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Agriculture and 
Food Security, funded by the U.S. Agency for International
 Development, will make it possible for faculty members and graduate
 students from both countries to study and do research at each other's
 campuses. The project also is designed to update curriculum and
technical resources at Pakistan's University of Agriculture,

"UC Davis has been partnering with colleagues in Pakistan since 2009,
 sharing expertise in agriculture from crop production to post-harvest 
handling," said James Hill, associate dean emeritus of International 
Programs for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
 at UC Davis.

"Establishment of this new center will allow us to build on those 
efforts, with a renewed emphasis on an exchange of faculty and 
graduate students," he said.

During its first year of funding, the center will plan several 
workshops to assist the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, with 
technology transfer and entrepreneurship to strengthen its 
connections to the private sector. UC Davis also will initiate 
programs in both research and curriculum development to improve
 graduate studies.

Hill noted that two other Pakistan-focused projects are already
 underway through the International Programs office, primarily in the
 area of horticultural crops and agricultural extension activities.

Agriculture is the largest sector of Pakistan's economy, providing 
jobs for half of that country's labor force. Some of the 
traditionally important crops in Pakistan are wheat, cotton, rice,
 sugar cane and maize. In recent years, crops like beans, peas, 
lentils, onions, potatoes, chilies and tomatoes have also increased 
in importance, along with fruit crops such as citrus and mangoes.

The newly funded center at UC Davis is the most recent of several
 partnerships of the U.S.-Pakistan Centers for Advanced Studies, a
 $127 million investment from USAID, linking universities in the two
 countries and using applied research to solve Pakistan's challenges
 in energy, water and food security.

The overall program includes construction of laboratories, research
 facilities and libraries in Pakistan. Other participating U.S.
 universities include the University of Utah and Arizona State 
University, focusing on water and energy, respectively.

Media contact(s):

* James Hill, International Programs, jehill@ucdavis.edu
* Pat Bailey, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-9843,