Finance Minister Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mr. Muzafar Said led a delegation of Dairy Science Park to Thailand to participate in the Workshop on Biorisk Management – The Way Ahead. The workshop was held at Phuket, with participation by experts of Dairy Science Park (DSP), Peshawar, Pakistan and Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, USA.
The workshop was focused on awareness of the policy makers about the bio risk management (BRM) concepts and identifying the areas of interventions into the functions of government, academia and private sectors organizations, with special focus on documenting and improving the status of biosafety and biosecurity associated with laboratory operations, clinics and the human food chain. In addition, the integration of Biorisk Management Curriculum into the existing curricula of Pakistani Universities and development of new courses with the coordinated efforts of the provincial and federal governments, private sector and civil society were considered.
The workshop was attended by Mr. Muzfar Said, Minister for Finance, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mr. Arif Yousaf Special Assistant to the Chief Minister KP, Prof M Subhan Qureshi Dean FAHVS/Chief Patron DSP, Prof .Umer Sadique Chairman Animal Health, Dr. Naila Chand Chairperson Poultry Science, Dr. Murad Ali, Dr. Farhan, Dr. Sher Bahadar Khan, Mr. Rafiullah Khan and Mr. Shah Murad Khan represented UAP. Mr. Nasir Shah represented FATA University, Dr. Zia ul Haq KMU, Dr. Azam Kakar World Bank. DSP was represented by Engr Irfan ul Haq Qureshi and Ms. Samina Qureshi and Sandia National Laboratories by Dr. Melissa Finley, Ms. Iris Surdi, Mr. Robert Otero and Mr. Waleed Joyan.
Mr. Muhammad Luqman DG SDU Government of KP, Dr. Khalid Khan Additional Secretary HED and Prof Zahoor Swati Vice Chancellor UAP could not get NOC for the visit although the Chief Minister advised the relevant department for the same. The Minister Finance took serious notice of the non-issuance of NOC to the delegates and promise to look into the issue on return to Peshawar. Mr. Kamran Khan Secretary DSP and Mr. Malik Niaz Ex-President KPCCI could not participate due to their business engagements.
The Workshop was a follow-up program for establishing a Center of Excellence for Biorisk Management, proposed during Pakistan Biorisk Management Curriculum Development Workshops held at Dubai and Bangkok in April/November 2016. It was anticipated that the University of Agriculture Peshawar will be the leader in the region for developing and integrating bio risk management into existing university courses, creating courses in bio risk management, developing quality standards and protocols, and will subsequently provide guidance to other universities and colleges in the region. The present workshop was focused on involving the top policy makers of the province in consultation on various aspects of Biorisk Management so the concepts could be integrated into policies, development plans and projects for future funding.
The participants were informed that KP Food Safety Authority has been established under an Act of the Parliament. It was suggested that: i) Dairy Science Park would train Food Safety Officers and develop quality and Halal standards with the cooperation of development partners like SNL, KMU and others. Diagnostic kits will be diseases for detection of pathogens and toxins and Halal quality. A development project may be sponsored by the provincial government for this purpose. The provincial government is considering the establishment of a Dairy Science Park Task Force (DTF) to take care of interests of the producers, processors, consumers and service providers through various ministries. ii) An earlier notification of the (DTF) was recommended.
Mr. Arif Yousaf informed that an SDGs Task Force (STF) has been established at the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Cell comprises MPAs, headed by Mr. Arif Yousaf. A Sustainable Development Unit has been established at the Planning and Development Department, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, monitoring progress of the administrative departments on implementation of the SDGs. The STF has notified the Fourth International Conference and Industrial Exhibition at Konya Turkey on November 1-5, 2017 and will pursue its successful arrangements at the public and private sectors. Prof Qureshi recommended that: iii) the STF must review the provincial priorities under SDGs and the sectoral policies and development plans must be tailored to the SDGs priorities; iv) The STF comprising parliamentarians must be supported by a group of technocrats to identify people's issues related to SDGs and suggested intervention strategies related to food safety, food security and youth entrepreneurship as covered under SDGs number 2, 3 8; accepted by the United Nations as #SDGAction9671 initiated by DSP.
Dr. Zia KMU and Dr. Umer UAP presented the course outlines approved by the respective bodies of the universities to accommodate BRM-related curricula. Dr. Sher Bahadar will prepare the final draft to be shared with SNL before implementation at the Universities. It was suggested that: v) DSP will coordinate to accommodate these courses at provincial and national levels under the umbrella of HEC.
The Finance Minister appreciated the collaborative efforts of the SNL and DSP in forwarding the agenda of BRM in the interest of the people of KP and FATA. The scope of Dairy Science Park for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, comprising Food Security, Food Safety and Economic Empowerment of the people is supported by the provincial government. He acknowledged support of the SNL team and the United States government for providing solutions for our local issues. He assured support of the provincial government in implementing initiatives for the welfare of the people of KP with a special focus on self-employment and hygienic food production, envisioned under the Dairy Science Park.