Encouraging research: ‘Climate change could cause food insecurity’

Published: June 21, 2016
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UAF VC discusses topics of research with scientists studying food security. PHOTO: APP

UAF VC discusses topics of research with scientists studying food security. PHOTO: APP

FAISALABAD: Climate change has disturbed the country’s agronomic patterns, causing massive loss of agricultural productivity and a possible food security issue, University of Agriculture Faisalabad Vice Chancellor Iqrar Ahmad Khan said on Monday.

He was chairing a meeting with the faculty of Social Sciences at the UAF.

Khan said the Cotton Leaf Curl Virus (CLCV) epidemic had nothing to do with the recent drop in cotton production. “Climate change has caused a 35 per cent decrease in cotton productivity,” he said. The UAF is working on a policy for the government to fight future challenges like this, he said. The vice chancellor requested scientists to present research proposals in this regard.He said high-efficiency irrigation was catching on around the world. “Unfortunately, our country lags far behind in terms of adopting new agri technologies.”

The vice chancellor urged instructors to develop policy papers on the role print and electronic media can play to raise awareness about climate change. He told them to look into the possibility of how academia-media linkages could help improve the situation.

Khan spoke about how a general resistance to adopting new technologies could hinder agricultural productivity. “This prevents farmers from making the most of their resources…sticking to traditional farming practices does not help anyone.”

He said poverty alleviation was directly linked to rural development. The vice chancellor discussed various topics of research with scientists including: irrigation pricing, policy options for enhancing the marketing efficiency of potato and onion crops; investigating malnutrition and maternal issues in Thar Districts (drought areas) of Pakistan; food and nutritional security analyses of pregnant women to ensure food secure next generations; understanding dynamics and determinants of marketing margins of selected fruits and vegetables in Punjab,  and  opportunities for improving small-scale milk marketing system through dairy cooperatives concept.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2016.

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