Australia’s water programme in Pakistan to boost agriculture and water management

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ISLAMABAD, Jan 31 (APP): Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Margaret Adamson and Federal Minister for Defence Production and Minister for Science and Technology, Rana Tanveer Hussain, Tuesday launched the Australian Government’s AUD 15 million Water Programme in Pakistan.
The programme aims at to continue longstanding bilateral collaboration on building capacity to improve water management and boost agricultural productivity in Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, High Commissioner Adamson noted that Australia has supported agricultural research in Pakistan since the 1980s.
“Our continued support through Australian expertise will help Pakistan to build an innovation-based agriculture sector through targeted public investment not only to boost agriculture profitability, but most importantly to ensure food security”, Ms Adamson said.
‘Australia has more than one thousand companies which can provide advice and technologies in this critical sector’.
The Australian Government’s Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) was working with federal and provincial agriculture and livestock departments, the Pakistan Council for Water Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) and university research institutions to address technical, social, economic and policy constraints hindering growth in the agriculture sector.
The Water Programme would also encourage advocacy by the Pakistan Government, technical experts and civil society to advocate for effective water resource management and support the Government’s efforts towards the development of the National Water Commission and National Water Policy.
“Cooperation in water management is a significant and increasing dimension of our bilateral relationship”, she said.
The Water Programme provides further opportunities for facilitating knowledge exchange between our countries in this vitally important sector, Ms Adamson added.
The Water Programme includes the Australian Government’s 12-year Indus Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio (SDIP) which was mapping the current and future needs of the Indus Basin.
Australian scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) were working with the Ministry of Water and Power to build the capacity of Pakistan’s water managers in efficient water management.
The Water Programme also includes three farm-level projects implemented by ACIAR to improve groundwater management in agriculture.