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The Embassy of Netherlands invited a Dutch agricultural expert to visit Pakistan and share his knowledge of latest technologies and solutions, challenges and opportunities in the sector. Mr. Romke Wustman retired from Wageningen University and Research Centre last year and became part of the PUM Netherlands Senior Experts.
PUM is a non-profit organization, which links businesses in developing countries to retire[d] Dutch professionals. These senior experts provide businesses with required knowledge and experience. PUM has a network comprising some 3,200 volunteers in 80 sectors of industry – in many of the areas where the Dutch have expertise.
Ms. Renate Pors, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Netherlands, explained the context of the public diplomacy initiative and the Netherlands commitment to food security, one of the main global challenges today. Every five seconds, a baby dies of malnutrition and one billion people go to bed hungry every day.
The Netherlands is a small country with a population of 17 million but it produces sufficient food for 70 million. It is also the second largest food exporter in the world. The Netherlands has a highly productive agricultural sector and considerable expertise in agrarian technologies and solutions and the seminars and meetings with the Dutch expert were a way of sharing that expertise with Pakistani stakeholders.
Mr. Wustman met with academia, researchers, private sector representatives and farmers – all the stakeholders who are important in the agricultural chain. While different topics were discussed in various meetings, the potato crop was used as an example as he is potato specialist.
The seminars at the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council and Lahore University of Management Sciences focussed on Potato Seed: Challenges and Opportunities and identified possible scenarios through which Pakistan could improve the quality of seed.