Climate change cannot be avoided, say scientists

Published: February 20, 2013

Chattha suggested that the country should redefine agro-ecological zones to cope with climate change. PHOTO: FILE/REUTERS

LAHORE: Climate change, which is posing a serious threat to the country’s agricultural productivity and water resources, cannot be avoided completely, but its effects can be lessened through developing high temperature-tolerant, climate-resilient genetically modified crops and constructing mega water reservoirs, scientists say.

This was the crux of presentations made by scientists from University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) at a workshop organised by the Agricultural Journalists Association, UAF and Monsanto Pakistan here on Monday.

Professor Ashfaq Ahmad Chattha, in his presentation, pointed out that not only carbon dioxide (CO2) level, but also temperature was rising because of climate change, leading to increased water requirement for crops and loss of production in absence of water supply.

He was of the view that a one centigrade rise in temperature could result in loss of 1.2 million tons of wheat production.

Chattha suggested that the country should redefine agro-ecological zones to cope with climate change. “We have to develop an automated environmental network, use models for forecasting, make adjustments to planting time, densities and sowing method, change cropping pattern and cropping intensity and choose suitable varieties.”

He also underlined the need for developing crop varieties keeping in view the climate change perspective and introducing new crops using conventional as well as mutation breeding through biotechnology and genetic engineering.

Monsanto Pakistan Country Lead Aamir Mahmood Mirza, said Monsanto – a US-based agricultural biotechnology corporation – was working with the objective of ‘produce more conserve more” .

He said Monsanto invested $1.5 billion per annum in research and development activities to double the yield of cotton, corn and soya by 2030.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (1)

  • mememine69
    Feb 20, 2013 - 2:03AM

    *Would you deny climate change being real or not when you are being paid to study the effects of it? Almost all research was into effects and adaptability and rarely causes. This was Reefer Madness.
    Science has NEVER said climate change crisis was imminent or “WILL” happen since not one single IPCC warning isn’t qualified with “maybe” and “could be” and…
    Prove me wrong!
    Help my planet could be on fire maybe? Be happy the crisis was exaggerated, not disappointed like you wanted this deadly crisis to be real. Pollution is real but the end of days isn’t. Move on.
    *Occupywallstreet does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded carbon trading stock markets run by corporations.
    *

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