The country wasted 105 million acre feet (MAF) of rain and flood water last year that went into Arabian Sea because of lack of water reservoirs and awareness among people, an agricultural expert said.
“This water was many times more than the capacity of Tarbela dam,” said Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, Vice Chancellor of the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) while speaking at the inaugural ceremony of a project on “Social research to foster effective collaboration and strengthen pro-poor values” here on Thursday.
The event was organised by the university’s Department for Rural Sociology in collaboration with the Agriculture Sector Linkage Programme.
Khan said average milk production in Pakistan was very low at three litres per animal in a day, but added Australian scientists had upgraded the breed of Sahiwal cow which increased milk output.
He stressed the need for increasing milk production by adopting modern techniques which would generate heavy revenue for the country besides improving incomes of farmers.
He called for learning from the experience of Australia, by adopting new technologies to boost production of goods and services, which was a prerequisite for prosperity of the country.
Australian scientist Dr John Spriggs said Pakistan and Australia had inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for undertaking research projects. He said the MoU, covering citrus, dairy and mango production, was being implemented by UAF and Sindh Agriculture University Jamshoro with the assistance of Australia. Poor living standards of rural youth were also part of the project.
Another Australian scientist Dr Santra H Muatafa said the agriculture sector linkage programme would focus on horticulture (mango and citrus) and livestock (dairy), while at the same time address underlying issues of water management and institutional and technical capacity building.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2011.