Fighting water scarcity: Experts urge farmers to grow less water-intensive crops

Say use of efficient irrigation system need of the hour.

Our Correspondent April 20, 2017
Experts say use of efficient irrigation system need of the hour. PHOTO: APP

FAISALABAD: In a bid to fight water scarcity, the farmers should plant less water-intensive crops amid the situation when Pakistan is standing among the countries ranked at the bottom of per capita water availability index.

This was said by University of Agriculture Faisalabad Vice-Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan on Wednesday. He was meeting a delegation of Bonn University, Germany at the Syndicate Room.

He suggested taking measures, including high efficient irrigation system, increased water storage capacity, short duration varieties and to create awareness among the people about rational water usage

He said, “One kilogramme of rice production requires 4,000 liters of water which is not suitable in the prevailing situation.”  He lamented the rice was highly water intensive crop. “We are exporting rice worth Rs2 billion at the cost of water worth Rs10 billion.”

Meanwhile, Dr Ing Bernhard Tischbein from University of Bonn stressed the need to cement academia and research ties between both institutions. He said, “Interdisciplinary approaches are need of the hour to fight modern challenges, including agriculture, climate change and eco system.” He said efficient irrigation system would pave the way to reduce water wastage.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2017.

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