!logo.jpg (6328 bytes) . .

1_popup_home.gif (1391 bytes)


Dr. M. Jalaluddin

For the record
Dr. M. Jalaluddin
Science & Technology
New inventions
Netscape 6 unleashed
Performance appraisal — a motivational tool
Public Relations: the Myths, Misconceptions & Mystique
Politics & Policy
CE's visit to Cuba, Egypt and Libya
The devolution of power
Special Report
Pakistan Energy Conference
The Last Page
" The Nasdaq Phenomenon"

Apr 24 - 30, 2000

Dr. M. Jalaluddin did his Ph. D. from Cantab in 1965. An outstanding professor of Botany at University of Karachi, Dr. Jalaluddin carries various distinctions behind his illustrious career as an academician with special interest in Bio Fertilization and Bio Control. He secured his M. Sc. Degree from Dacca University. With over 50 research papers to his credit published by prestigious publications of the United States, UK and other European countries. He worked at Makerere University, East Africa (Kampala) in the faculty of Agriculture and Forestry on lien of Karachi University during late 70s which gave him an international exposure to his interest in his field. Dr. Jalal was also a visiting professor at the University of Hanover, Federal Republic of Germany in connection of Dadd's Post Doctoral Fellowship. His rich experience and deep insight in the field of agriculture helped him to supervise 6 National Research Projects, which consequently benefited 4 research students to go through their M. Phil degrees from University of Karachi.

PAGE: Where would you place the agriculture sector in the current scenario for bringing socio-economic uplift of the country as compared to other sectors.

Dr. Jalal: All said and done, the fact remains that the food security is the best form of defence for all practical purposes. Whether it is socio-economic sector or geo-political fronts, self-sufficiency in food comes on top of the list for any community or nation. Despite being called as an agriculture country, Pakistan has to spend a huge amount of precious foreign exchange on import of foodstuff every year, he regretted. Self-reliance in food sector would not only give an impetus to our manufacturing side but also give a strong confidence to the people as an independent nation.

PAGE: Would you identify the areas where improvement is needed to get the desired results in the agriculture sector.

Dr. Jalal: Luckily, the agriculture sector in Pakistan has one of the largest irrigation networks but it has many corners in water management. It has to be more precise as far as fair water distribution is concerned. Those who are responsible for equitable sharing in water distribution among the farmers should be held responsible to make it sure that supply of this basic raw material for the agriculture sector is ensured to reach up to the tail-enders at right time and in right quantity. Sowing at right time, watering at right time and harvesting at right time are the key factors in achieving the best yields, Dr. Jalal observed.

It is believed that due to corruption and mismanagement of irrigation system, this precious liquid worth Rs20 billions either slipped into the pockets of the corrupt or goes waste. As a result of this mismanagement about 40 per cent of our arable land has become saline. In fact there are a number of other areas which are in need of proper and immediate attention of the authorities. For example we are suffering from considerable crop losses due to pest attack. It happens because of lack of knowledge about plant disease among the poor farmers. Lack of proper transport, storage as well as cold storage facilities for saving the perishable agriculture produce, non existence of farm to market roads, lack of knowledge for proper application of fertilizer and pesticides altogether results in an accumulative loss of around 40 per cent of our production capacity.

PAGE: Do you endorse the efforts being made by the present team of the experts for improvement of agricultural economy.

Dr. Jalal: I believe in result-oriented policies and programmes. As against the recommendations of Dr. Ata urrehman, the minister for agriculture sector which emphasize for hi-tech applications to bring about improved and desired results, priority should be given to home and indigenous methods for fertilization and pesticides. Since the excessive use of synthetic fertilizer affects the land nutrients we should go for bio-fertilization and pesticides. He, however, recommended proper application of scientific and technological expertise to bring about improved crop varieties so that we can raise the output of our agriculture produce specially which are being imported into country.

PAGE: Do you think that commercially attractive subjects like IT, and business education etc would affect supply of scientific manpower in Pakistan.

Dr. Jalal: The two main economic sectors i.e. agriculture and industry which includes agro based sector are in dire need of scientific research and enhance food production and industrial output. However, a considerable number of highly qualified and experienced science faculty members of the Universities in Pakistan have either retired or are about to retire. For example, the Karachi University will be shortly left with a small number of qualified and experienced scientists. The vacuum so created will be very hard to fill for want of scholarships for higher studies and research. Our brotherly country Bangladesh passing through the same situation has allowed the superannuated scientists to participate in national building activity by turning out more M. Phils and Ph. Ds to increase the manpower in the desired sectors.