Mubarik Ali, a team leader for the SANREM CRSP in Asia, has been appointed Chief Executive of the Punjab Agriculture Research Board (PARB), a research agency being reactivated in the Punjab region of Pakistan.
The agency, dormant since 1998, will oversee the allocation of a $20 million annual research development budget. It will function as an independent board whose directors will include politicians, technocrats, and farmers. Based in Lahore, PARB will be responsible for coordination, programming and planning, as well as monitoring and evaluation of all of the region’s agricultural research.
“The offer was so exciting in terms of making an impact on the country’s agriculture that I could not decline,” Ali said. He is “conceptualizing the PARB structure,” he said, and will soon post openings for 20 professional-level Pakistani managers with expertise and experience in all aspects of agricultural research.
Ali was market objectives team leader on the SANREM CRSP Southeast Asia (SEA) project and an agricultural economist at The World Vegetable Center, a not-for-profit international research and development organization whose mission is to reduce poverty and malnutrition in developing countries through improved production and consumption of vegetables.
In his new position, Ali will oversee an extensive research system that consists of 21 institutes and five divisions with about 900 professional and 4,500 non-professional staff members. The Punjab province is a significant force in Pakistan’s economy, contributing 58% of the nation’s annual Gross Domestic Produce and 65% of its agricultural GDP.