Islamabad (30th May, 2018), International Centre for Agriculture Research. in Dry Areas (ICARDA) is implementing projects on Water and Soil in Pakistan in close Collaboration with the National and Provincial research and development institutions of the country. The projects are sponsored by the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA). The main objectives of the projects are to increase crop production, soil health, water use efficiency and conservation through diffusion and adoption of technologies and practices by farming communities. Accordingly, a final meeting of ICARDA-USDA projects on “Soil Fertility & Soil Health” and Watershed Rehabilitation & Irrigation practices was held at PARC- National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) from 29-30 May, 2018.
Addressing to the participants, the Chief Guest, Sardar Sikandar Hayat Bosan, Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research said that the projects on “Water Rehabilitating and Best Soil Fertility and Soil Health Management Technologies” for farmers is no doubt a generous assistance to Pakistan by the US Government. The Federal Minister further added, in Pakistan fertility and health of soil is deteriorated because of low organic matter and unfavorable cultivation practices intensive tillage practices, and removal or burning of crop residue; as a result productivity of our land is low. USDA and ICARDA in partnership with Federal and provincial institutions have been successful in introducing new best management practices and technologies for land and water management in Pakistan. Sikandar Hayat Bosan also shared that on behalf of Govt. of Pakistan, he extend deep gratitude to USA Govt. for its monetary and scientific cooperation in this program.
Dr. Munir Ahmed, Acting Chairman, PARC shared that the ICARDA is implementing the project in collaboration with the national partners to disseminate promising land and water management technologies to the farmers to help improve land, water and crop productivity. He appreciated the efforts made by PARC, USDA, ICARD and other partner institutions under this program. He also said that the efforts of agricultural scientists and experts under this program will help Pakistani farmers to improve their irrigation efficiency, crop productivity and farm income and cost of production. Dr. Munir Ahmed appreciated the role of International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) for implementing these projects in Pakistan. He also added that unsustainable management practices in Pakistan have damaged soil fertility and health and there is need to suggest measures through soil testing advisory services for the improvement of soil fertility using suitable fertilizers and avoiding extra expenditure and to control the salinity and diagnose the soil problem and advise the farmers for its reclamation through suitable amendments
Dr. Abdul Majid, Country Manager, ICARDA presented the achievements of the project. Dr. Ghulam Muhammad Ali, Director General NARC and Mr. David Williams, USDA also spoke on the occasion and appreciated the efforts of Pakistani scientists for their remarkable achievements in land, water research and development.
Director (PR&P) PARC
Edited by: Muhammad Fiaz Joyia
Director (SC&P), NARC