Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that agricultural water is becoming an expensive commodity; therefore, we would have to use it efficiently to ensure food security by changing...
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that agricultural water is becoming an expensive commodity; therefore, we would have to use it efficiently to ensure food security by changing cropping patterns.
This he said on Wednesday while talking to Australian High Commissioner Neil Hawkins, who called on him at CM House on Wednesday. At the outset of the meeting, the Australian high commissioner expressed profound grief and sorrow over the loss of life caused by the recent floods. He added that the impact of climate change had started emerging in the shape of heavy downpours and scorching heat.
The CM said Pakistan, particularly the people of Sindh, had become the first victims of climate change. He added that internally displaced persons were facing numerous problems. Shah said there was an outbreak of infectious diseases of dengue, malaria and skin problems among the people living along the main roads and camps. “We have established medical camps to provide treatment to the patients and try to drain out accumulated water at the earliest so that these issues could be controlled,” he said.
The Australian high commissioner said the floodwater could be released into the river so that it could later be discharged into the sea. He added that it would help maintain the stability of the ecosystem.
At this, the CM said that unfortunately some of our people believe that releasing water into the sea through the rivers is a waste of water, but as a matter of fact, it is necessary to stop sea intrusion.
He said that in the early Kharif season they faced an acute shortage of water and then heavy downpours turned everything upside down. He added that water was becoming an expensive commodity; therefore, they had to ensure its efficient use for agricultural purposes.
According to the CM, food security could only be ensured by introducing low-delta and high-yield crops. “Now, various varieties of rice and wheat have come into the international market, which have a high yield,” he said and added he was focusing on agriculture research so that desired seeds and varieties could be introduced. The visiting diplomat and the CM agreed to benefit from each other’s experiences in respect of cropping patterns and high-yield crops.