National and international agricultural experts, scientists and diplomats have expressed their concern over global warming, climate change and environmental pollution, its negative impact on agriculture and livestock.
At a seminar jointly organised by the Sindh Agriculture University, Tando Jam, the United States Consulate in Karachi and the Sindh Abadgar Board, they recommended implementation of joint research and biotechnology, varietal improvement in various crops, institutional and human capacity building, budget allocation for research in climate change and food security as well as technological advancement along with innovation and integration of adaptation policy measures, which they said would be helpful for agriculture development of the country.
"According to Global Climate Risk Index 2020, Pakistan is a highly vulnerable country in the world, ranking at number five on the index of most affected countries in the world in terms of impacts of extreme weather events," said SAU Vice Chancellor Dr Fateh Muhammad Marri. He pointed out that the situation in Sindh can aggravate further given rise in temperature and humidity levels due to climate change. Scientists and researchers can address the effects of climatic change by using the tools of biotechnology for crop and animal breed improvements, disease control and environmental safeguards, he said.
Meanwhile, Sindh Minister Ismail Rahoo read out a message from the chief minister, highlighting the importance of biotechnology and its benefits in mitigating climate change impacts. "The country needs to improve crop productivity and protecting the ecosystem using various resources of biotechnology with ensured safeguards. Sound application of modern biotechnology will help to counteract climate related problems and thereby securing crop production for fast growing population," he quoted the CM as saying.
US Consul General Mark Stroh stressed on the need to promote agriculture innovative for sustainability of farms and meet future challenges posed by droughts, floods and blights.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2021.
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