ISLAMABAD: Balochistan Agriculture Research Council (BARC) Director General Abdul Hanan on Monday warned that the province was the most affected one by the climate change in the country and time was running out to prevent its devastating impacts.
He said, “Water level has gone down from 80 to 1,000 feet and agriculture sector is under severe threat for which revolutionary steps are required to be taken to save the province from starvation.”
The BARC was vigorously working to discover low water-consuming plants like pistachio, olive and Saffron to resist climate change in the province.
Hanan stressed the need to educate farmers to use modern growing methods through awareness workshops and training sessions.
“We should make farmers realise the importance of water and convince them to adopt modern agriculture techniques like drip irrigation to fight scarcity of water,” he said, suggesting low usage irrigation systems would allow a low flow water source to irrigate a larger number of plants and crops which must be primarily adopted by all the farmers associated with the agri-production sector.
To a question, he said that lack of processing was the main reason of the declining date palm production.
The BARC has established dates processing plant in Khairpur. Dates to be dried inside tunnels would be the low-cost process other than by drying dates in sunlight, he added.
Hanan said plantation of more and more fruit trees was important to reduce food insecurity and it would also help earn revenue by exporting the produce to potential countries.
He said the demand for pulses was increasing day by day and there was need to develop varieties with higher yield potential that respond to improved management practices and to motivate farmers so as to meet the increasing demand of this edible item.
“BARC is also working on wheat drought resilience to find feasible solutions to prepare the province to fight against the impacts of global climate change in the years ahead,” he added.
He said the provincial government was coordinating with BARC to take effective steps for the betterment of agriculture sector in Balochistan for the sake of enhancing production of food grains in the province.
Hanan; however, regretted that the BARC was not able to complete its ongoing projects for want of financial resources and imbalanced administrative power sharing.