FAISALABAD: The agriculture and climate experts have joined hands to work together on agro-ecological zones in line with climate changes effects on crops, soil fertility and deteriorating underground water quality.
The meeting was chaired by University of Agriculture Faisalabad Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan while Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture Multan Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Asif Ali, Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi Vice-Chancellor Dr Rai Niaz, Punjab Agriculture Research Board Chief Executive Dr Noorul Islam, Director General Extension Anjum Ali Bhuttar, Ayub Agriculture Research Institute Director General Dr Abid Mehmood, Farm Water Management Director General Malik Muhammad Akram, Dr Azmat Hayat and Dr Dildar Kazmi from the Pakistan Meteorological Department, Pest Warning Director General Dr Khalid Mehmood, Agriculture EDO Abdul Hameed and others attended it. The meeting decided to analyse the climate data of every 10 km for the last 10 years.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that the agriculture sector was facing the severe challenge owing to climate changes as the sector production was decreasing. He was of the view that collaborative work would come up with viable solutions in the shape of recommendations on agro zone that would boost up the agriculture. He expressed his concern that rainfall volatility, increased drought and rising temperatures were affecting crops yield. He said that floriculture in the country was untapped area for which we have to take measures. He said that the government was setting up the horticulture institute in Lahore that would bring hallmark results.
Dr Asif Ali said that tangible research on factors disturbing the agricultural sector needed to be carried out for ensuring food in the country. He said that we have to develop the varieties keeping the changing climate in view. If we could not take measures to fight the challenges, the issue of food insecurity would deepen, he added. Dr Rai Niaz said that groundwater quality was deteriorating that was marring agriculture production. He was of the view that stepped up efforts were needed to address the issue at the national level. He said that work on the agro zone would be helpful to address the problems of the farmers and to ensure the food security in the country.
Dr Anjum Ali Bhuttar said that eight agro ecological zones in the country were having good profile. Dr Abid Mehmood said that new climate tolerant varieties would help address the problem of climate changes. He said that due to climate changes, even the crop areas were changing.