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Efforts urged to address water, food security issues


July 2, 2019

FAISALABAD: Experts of a consultative session on food trends, challenges and sustainable strategies under the changing climate stressed the need of coordinated efforts to address the issues of water, energy and food security.

The event was held at the CAS Auditorium, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, in collaboration with various NGOs here on Monday. UAF Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Ashraf said that water, energy, biodiversity, food and climate change were the global agenda items of all summits being held at international level.

He told that China was growing maize in deserts with lesser amount of rainwater that we used to witness in Potohar region so we need to make such experiments that how we could grow wheat in such conditions. He was of the view that implementation on the regulations was a paramount concern that we were facing in the country.

He said that water conservation in Barani areas was another frontier to be explored as during rainy season water needs to be stored at farm level by digging ponds with plastic surface so that stored water may not suffer seepage and be used during dry days. Former senator Nisar A Memon while describing the situation an outcome of multiple factors said that his organisation bringing all stakeholders on board to strategize the future line of action. He told that they were holding dialogs that how we could make better coordination to deal with all three necessary elements of life with a holistic approach to make this a movement of awareness among the masses to taking care of water, energy and food as well. He said that our constitution provides the right of having food, water and energy to all citizens and we could ensure security of human beings if this nexus was properly addressed. He said that the nexus of water, energy and food had complicity and interdependent to the human life and health.

He underscored the need to have coordinated plan in the wake of population growth adding that during the last few decades Pakistan which had been facing water scarcity now been ranked as absolute country in terms of water scarcity.

Dr Riaz Hussain Qureshi said that though Pakistan having one of the largest irrigation systems in the world but at the same time, it was considered one of the most inefficient systems wherein more than 60pc water was lost either during conveyance in the channels or application in the field. Annually, 16 MAF water was lost in the canals, 26 MAF while travelling in watercourses, 17 in the field and 6 MAF in the distributary and miners, he added.

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