Experts huddle to trace out alternatives for better food productivity amid water scarcity

HYDERABAD, May 12 (APP): National and International researchers, agronomists have called for introducing agrarian reforms in Pakistan in order to get good yields with minimum use of water during acute water scarcity.

They emphasized this, while addressing the first International Conference on Performance of Green Revolution Technology and Agriculture Development in South Asia’ which began on Thursday at Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Convention Centre, University of Sindh, Jamshoro.

The two day conference has been organized by Pakistan Study Center University of Sindh Jamshoro in collaboration with Sindh Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Sindh Agricultural University (SAU) Tando Jam .

The Vice Chancellor University of Sindh Prof. Dr. Muhammad Siddique Kalhoro inaugurated the conference where the other educationalists and Vice-Chancellors of various varsities were in attendance.

The researchers and agronomists also suggested remedies and ways in this regard and urged the government to deploy professional field assistants on agricultural lands, ensure transparent distribution of water, proper leveling of fields, soil testing and help the growers to select suitable seeds for exquisite production in order to overcome food insecurity in Pakistan.

Speaking on the occasion, the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Muhammad Siddique Kalhoro said that the development in China’s agricultural sector was before Pakistani public; therefore, Pakistan could learn a lot from China in the field to improve its agriculture.

“We have an acute water shortage, which affects out agriculture badly”, he said and added, “We need to ameliorate the water distribution system and leveling of agricultural lands for the best yield of various crops,”.

He said that the conference was aimed at receiving the insightful and recommendations of agricultural experts and both national and international researchers for the betterment of the country’s agriculture and exquisite production of different crops on use of low quality of water.

In view of water scarcity in the country especially in Sindh, he said the water distribution and utilization system needed to be made transparent while the leveling of agricultural lands was required to be improved.

“This is only the way to hose down the crops properly in order to get good yields in the return”, the Vice-Chancellor said.

He said that the agricultural sector in Pakistan had been strengthened to some extent through solar energy. By arranging solar panels, he said, water could be easily delivered to the agricultural lands, at a negligible cost.

Addressing the conference, Vice-Chancellor Sindh Madressa-tul-Islam University Karachi Dr. Mujeeb Sehrai said that agriculture was an important sector which needed to be addressed in a professional way.

He said that the Sindh and federal governments should pay special attention to the agriculture sector so that the national economy could be improved.

The Vice-Chancellor Shaheed Allah Bakhsh Soomro University of Art, Design and Heritage Dr. Bhai Khan Shar said that holding of the international conference was a great achievement adding that there were various local and foreign scholars gathered at Sindh University, with whom they got the opportunity to meet, discuss and
listen to them.

The Vice-Chancellor Begum Nusrat Bhutto University for
Women Sukkur Dr. Shehzad Naseem said that Pakistan was an agricultural
country and the academia will have to think about why there was food
shortage in it.

Earlier, Director Pakistan Study Center Prof. Dr. Shuja Ahmed Mahesar in his speech welcomed the distinguished guests and said how he had won the conference through cut-throat competition from Sindh Higher Education Commission (HEC).

The inaugural ceremony was also addressed by Prof. Dr.
Carolina Quiumento Velloso hailing from Portugal, Dr. Shabana Fayyaz and other dignitaries.

The Deans of various Faculties, Directors of Institutes/ Centers, Chairpersons of different departments, faculty members and a large number of scholars and students also attended the inaugural ceremony of the conference.

Later, different academic sessions started wherein scholars presented their research papers. The conference will continue till Friday.