The available water resources from rains, streams and groundwater are generally not fully utilised due to lack of knowledge and resources in the hill ecologies of Pakistan. Moreover, the traditional farming methods prevalent in these neglected areas produce below subsistence levels, thus leading to poverty. Addressing these issues, micro irrigation systems were demonstrated on two acres of land for irrigating fruit plants and nurseries at National Tea and High Value Crops Research Institute (NTHRI) Mansehra by Climate Change, Alternate Energy and Water Resources Institute (CAEWRI-NARC), for promoting profitable farming in the area. A two days (June 4th to 5th, 2015) training workshop was organized by CAEWRI in collaboration with NTHRI and with the financial support of the Water Component of Pak-China project. The workshop comprised of class room lectures, field practicals and training on hands of micro irrigation systems operation and evaluation tips. A diverse group of around forty (40) professionals (researchers, extension workers, water management officials) and students from Hazara University attended the training workshop.
While representing the Director NTHRI in the inaugural session, Dr Abdul Waheed PSO, NTHRI, welcomed the participants and stressed the need for capacity building of local professionals, especially in the field of water management. Special guest, Dr Habib Ahmad, Dean faculty of Sciences, Hazara University, highlighted the importance of water for agriculture and for improving livelihood of local communities. Dr Abdul Ghafoor PD Pak China Project outlined the role of water resources in the country's economy. Dr Muhammad Munir Ahmad, Director CAEWRI-NARC, overviewed the importance and potential of micro irrigation systems for the hill ecologies. In the technical session, Dr Ghani Akbar, SSO CAEWRI-NARC, delivered lectures on crop water requirement, irrigation scheduling and troubleshooting-maintenance of micro irrigation systems. Dr Muhammad Munir Ahmad elaborated the design tips through a case study. Engr Zafar Islam, SO CAEWRI, who also coordinated the training, explained various components of micro irrigation systems and their layouts. The trainees were provided on hands training for operating, evaluating, and trouble shooting of micro irrigation systems in the field. The certificates were distributed by the PD Pak China project at the end of the workshop in a formal ceremony.
Dr Ghani Akbar