Saturday November 27, 2021

Neglected sector

July 21, 2021

Pakistan is an agricultural country where more than 16 million hectares of land is irrigated through the world’s largest contiguous irrigation network. Its agriculture sector contributes more than 19.3 percent to annual GDP, and it is the main source of livelihood of a large number of people. However, Pakistan’s crop yield and crop water productivity is quite low as compared to other developed and developing countries. Keeping in view the dire need for agriculture mechanisation and water-efficient irrigation in the agricultural sector, the agriculture engineering degree programme was introduced in the country. The purpose of the programme was to produce engineers who would be equipped with technical knowledge of farm power and machinery, water resources management, irrigation, drainage, environment, soil and water conservation, and post-harvest losses.

Even though this degree is recognised and accredited by the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) as an ‘engineering’ degree, engineering departments, unfortunately, still consider the degree as an ‘agriculture’ degree. On the other hand, the agriculture department calls it an engineering degree. As a result, degree holders are left in the lurch by these departments. Thousands of degree holders are running from pillar to post for job placements, but the relevant departments are not recruiting these highly qualified graduates. The higher authorities are requested to resolve this issue and create job opportunities for agriculture engineering graduates.

Prof Dr Altaf Siyal