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Tree plantation stressed to combat soil degradation

By Bureau report
December 06, 2023

PESHAWAR: Speakers on Tuesday called for planting more trees to combat environmental pollution and prevent soil degradation.

The Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences Agricultural University Peshawar Tuesday organized a seminar on “Soil and Water: A Source of Life”.The event was arranged to mark Global Soil Day and to raise awareness about the role of soil and water in sustaining life and promoting environmental well-being.

The event was organized in collaboration with the Directorate General of Soil and Conservation, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Jahan Bakht was the chief guest on the occasion, while former dean of the university Prof Dr Riaz Khattak was the guest of honour.

An interior view of the Agriculture University Peshawar can be seen in this picture released on October 3, 2022. — Facebook/The University of Agriculture, Peshawar
An interior view of the Agriculture University Peshawar can be seen in this picture released on October 3, 2022. — Facebook/The University of Agriculture, Peshawar

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Jahan Bakht emphasized the role of soil in ensuring food security, highlighting Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as the first province to formulate a comprehensive food security policy.

Professor Dr Riaz Khattak, Deputy Director of Soil and Water Conservation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and District Officer Soil and Water Conservation Department Buner, Dr. Furqan Allah, spoke about the importance of soil during their speeches.

Dr Jahan Bakht underscored the challenges posed by climate change to agricultural lands. He noted a gradual decline in fertility due to reduced rainfall, increased soil erosion from torrential rains, and transformation of land into deserts.

He urged collective efforts to address these issues and emphasized the need for public awareness.The vice-chancellor stressed the importance of planting more trees. “It is required to combat environmental pollution and prevent soil degradation. With approximately 60 to 70 percent of Pakistan’s population dependent on agriculture, safeguarding the land requires diligent efforts”, he added.

Dr Bakht called for expert consideration of factors affecting soil health and the formulation of practical measures to mitigate threats to food security.