Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad
Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad has excellent academic career, securing first division in all the university examinations and obtaining merit scholarships for his under and post graduation besides achieving post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge.
Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad initiated his career as lecturer at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad in 1976 and later joined PARC in 1983 after his doctorate from University of Wales, U.K. He rose to the present position of Chairman, PARC having shown exceptional research, managerial and leadership skills to steer research groups in knowledge generation and transfer.
Dr. Ahmad designed and established a National IPM Programme with a strong initiative of large-scale implementation of IPM in Pakistan through an innovative farm level research and farmer education approach known as Farmer Field Schools. Focusing on cotton, the Programme has developed a cadre of Research, Extension and Farmer Facilitators as well as a highly motivated front line force of practicing IPM farmers in good agricultural practices to obtain healthy cotton crop. The Programme has won laurels from Farmers and all other stakeholders including international partners.
The Programme has developed innovative approaches like Woman Open Schools, Children Ecology Clubs, Family, Village and Community IPM for wider adoption of IPM Practices and growing healthy crops at the grass root level. Experiences from cotton have been expanded to other crops and cropping systems. These experiences are also being shared with countries in the South and South East Asian, central Asian and African regions.
He has played a key role in the development of disease resistant, high yielding wheat varieties in the country through a tripartite arrangement between the National Breeders, National Coordinated Wheat Programme and Crop Diseases Research Programme. Similarly as leader of the Soil-Health Programme in the rice-wheat system initiative, Dr. Ahamd is playing a very crucial role in the adoption of resource conservation technologies in the country.
As part of team of a research initiative on performance based assessment systems with International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR), Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad has introduced Organizational Performance and Assessment System (OPAS) for evaluating the performance of research institutes through a participatory approach at the National level. In addition, Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad has shown a remarkable quality of bringing together the research and educational institutions through a programme of post-graduate research at NARC.
He holds membership of eleven international and national scientific societies including American Phytopathological Society, British Society for Plant Pathology, Institute of Biology, UK and Cambridge Philosophical Society. He has represented Pakistan at the international level due his excellence in his area of expertise.
In recognition of his excellence in agricultural sciences he was conferred upon the Best Scientist of the Year Award in 1999 by PARC and honored by the Pakistan Academy of Sciences by awarding him Pakistan Academy of Sciences Gold Medal – 1999 for contribution in agricultural research. He was conferred Norman Borlaug award in 2006 and PARC Silver Jubilee Award 2006 for his research contributions.
Dr Iftikhar Ahmad has acted on high profile position at PARC and NARC. These include Director General, NARC, Member (Plant Sciences) and as Chairman, PARC till his retirement in March 2012. Since his retirement he was working as Senior Advisor in FAO Office of the United Nations in Pakistan. Currently he is serving again as Chairman, PARC.