Islamabad: Pakistan Agricultural Research Centre (PARC) in collaboration with Thardeep Rural Development (TRDP) and German non-governmental organization Welthungerhilfe organized two days conference to highlight the importance of climate smart agriculture for sustainable livelihoods. PARC, TRDP and WHH are working in the Thar region to promote climate smart agriculture and resilience towards food and nutrition security of smallholder farmers.
Addressing to the closing session of the eventSyed Fakhar Imam Federal Minister for NFSR saidthat Climate change has become the major challenge faced by theWorld today and Pakistan is one of the countries most severely affected by climate change. In province Sindh, the effects of climate change are particularly visible through extreme weather, resultantly crops yield is falling sharply.He added, being an agricultural country, we have to increase our agricultural production, Thar is the most neglected area, thanks to the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council which came up with various solutions to eliminate drought and turning barren lands into grasslands in Thar area.Highlighting the importance of event he also revealed thatthe arid region of the Thar Desert is affected by recurring and persistent drought. Additionally, flood and locust impacted agriculture production, livelihood and eco-system.The climate and weather change has an extraordinary effect on all crops of Pakistan which has affected the nutritional value of crops and their yields, he said adding that it was need of the hour to take measures on war footing basis to save local agriculture from the adverse impacts of climate change.The Federal Minister also informed the participants that Chairman PARC has ensured cultivation of Soybean on 3000 acre this year, promoting this important crop in the country,we can save large amount of precious foreign exchange spent on the import of soybean oil and meal for its use in poultry and livestock feed and other areas.
Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan Chairman PARCreviewed the participants about initiatives taken by the Arid Zone Agricultural Research Institute of Umerkot for the development and promotion of climate smart agriculture. He told that they have worked on preservation of local species and preserved about 50 local species including trees, medicinal plants and cultivated Moringa as well as 14 varieties of guava, matching the local ecology were also developed and distributed amongst the farmers to develop local orchids.
(Ghulam Shabbir Mirza)