SARGODHA UNIVERSITY AND SCC&I INK MOU TO ESTABLISH 'CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR CITRUS
Sargodha November 03, 2021. The University of Sargodha and Sargodha Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCC&I) have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the establishment of ‘Centre of Excellence for Citrus’ to launch joint research ventures at the university’s College of Agriculture on Thursday.
The agreement of mutual cooperation was signed by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Saleem Mazhar and Ch. Shoaib Ahmad Basra, President of SCCI. A delegation from the SCC&I and senior faculty members of the University witnessed the MOU signing ceremony. The project of worth Rs.200 million will be funded by the SCC&I through its export development funds.
In the opening remarks, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Saleem Mazhar welcomed the delegation and appreciated the initiative for strengthening academia-industry linkage to boost citrus quality export. He assured his full support and cooperation and emphasized upon tangible and result-oriented outcomes. Addressing the occasion, the Vice Chancellor said that universities should come forward to put value addition in national development and growth as urgent efforts are needed in the fields like agricultural industry and public policy with a special focus on local industry and market to improve international competitiveness.
While expressing views, Ch. Shoaib Ahmad Basra President SCC&I appreciated the efforts of Sargodha Univeristy as it has become a hub of research because every year its faculty members release significant researches. He urged researchers at Sargodha University to introduce new citrus varieties and utilize innovative cultivation techniques that will help in the rapid growth of the citrus industry and accelerate citrus export.
Under the agreement, Sargodha University will be responsible for providing suitable buildings/laboratories for the proposed centre; accelerating R&D to improve citrus quality and introduce new varieties; promoting research on industrial need-based projects, and organizing knowledge-sharing platforms to support the local citrus industry including farmers, growers, and stakeholders. The Centre will be run and managed by a board of management jointly headed by the president SCC&I and the Vice Chancellor, Sargodha University.
Moreover, the University would assist and support the SCC&I by providing the necessary credentials to increase citrus exports after the establishment of the Centre. On the other hand, the SCC&I would finance research activities and support the University in expanding the horizon of its linkages globally. Both parties agreed to take initiatives for catering to domestic demands and increasing international export of citrus, dissemination of relevant knowledge, and provision of training as well as the capacity building of young entrepreneurs.