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February 14, 2020

Ban urged on urbanisation of Sindh farmland


February 14, 2020

HYDERABAD: Agronomists on Thursday called upon the Sindh government to impose a ban on utilising prime agriculture land in urbanisation immediately to avoid further loss of natural assets.

These views were aired at the three-day 18th International Congress of Soil Science 2020, which concluded at Sindh Agriculture University (SAU) Tandojam. The conference, themed “wise soil management ensures better environment and livelihood”, was organised by Soil Science Society of Pakistan and SAU, and attracted soil scientists, researchers, and academia from across the country as well as abroad.

Quoting the Punjab government that has implemented this concept to save the prime land for ensuring country’s food security, speakers threw their weight behind the ban to save fertile land in the province from urbanisation.

Soil scientists said the growing urbanisation was eating away fertile land, depriving farmers of their right to cultivate, and compelling communities to migrate in search of new food and sources of living.

The scientists said measurement of actual carbon status and carbon sequestration potential of major soils of Pakistan under different ecological and environmental scenarios should be estimated and enhanced by incorporating farm wastes and crop residues to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions.

Water use efficiency should be improved using drip and sprinkler irrigation, by timely water application, lining of water courses and by rainwater harvesting, the speakers suggested. Sindh Minister for Agriculture Muhammad Ismail Rahoo, who presided over the event, said, “The quality of soil is deteriorating day after day and we have to take up these challenges”.

“The recommendations made here by scholars and researchers will help save the fertility of our lands, which was the main source of producing food for the nation.”

“We have important land, out of which larger part in different areas has been degraded and farmers are facing problems to get proper yield,” Rahoo said. He added farmers must understand the soil for cultivating crops as per seasons.

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