Dr. Aamer Irshad's Profile

Dr. Aamer Irshad is a leading expert on agricultural development and food security. At present, he is a Chief of Food and Agriculture and CEO of a newly established Center for Rural Economy with the Planning Commission. He is also a visiting faculty in several universities to teach Strategic Management and International Business. In his twenty years development career, he has worked with several private as well as public sector organizations. He has also been associated with international organizations including USAID, IFPRI and ACIAR. He has published number of research articles in scientific peer reviewed journals and contributes to national press on agriculture and food policy issues. A graduate of University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Dr. Aamer studied Agricultural Development and Food Policy at Cornell University. He is a recipient of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship in 2013 (USA) and the John Dillon Fellowship (Australia) in 2016.


U.S. Legacy in Agricultural Development of Pakistan: 70 Years Journey

Pakistan had been struggling to meet the food demands of its population after independence. Government of Pakistan made a financial aid request of US $ 2 billion in 1947-48 that included $ US 700 million for agriculture development. In the1950s, Pakistan’s major imports of food grains were supported under the concessional Public Law-480 (PL 480) assistance from the U.S. Later, PL 480 was renamed Food for Peace and Pakistan remained its beneficiary till becoming self-sufficient with the help of the Green Revolution of the 1960s spearheaded by an American scientist, Dr. Norman Borlaug. Pakistan has been making requests however on and off for concessional commodity assistance whenever shortages occur in local supplies. Sustained supply of irrigation water was under continuous threat since all major water sources are located in India. US helped broker the Indus Water Treaty in 1960 and funded thereafter for remodeling of irrigation infrastructure to ensure round the year water supply for crop production. In the 1970s, American Scientists designed and supervised land development and reclamation programs and thus saved millions of acres of land from the menace of salinity and water logging. During the same period US supported a major effort for the development of fertilizer production and use in Pakistan. In the 1980s, many opportunities for PhD studies in agricultural sciences were provided along with strengthening of National Agricultural Research System. In the 2000s and onward, US has been investing massively in agriculture policy support, agriculture innovations, market and value chain development besides creating enabling environment for agribusiness development to access the high-end food markets of the world. US legacy has helped Pakistan not only in achieving the self-sufficiency in food grains but also made the country grain surplus through its support spanning over 70 years since the independence of Pakistan.

Dr. Aamer Irshad
Planning Commission

Hubert Humphrey
Cornell University




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