If the current ones were not enough, Pakistan is to face yet another crisis as per capita water availability is touching its lowest level, threatening the country with water scarcity, said Parliamentary Secretary on Finance and Economic Affairs Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan.
He was speaking at a seminar arranged at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) to mark the World Water Day.
Khan called for educating the farming community and people about rational use of water considering that 50% of the water was being wasted.
About trade ties with India, he said the trade corridor would provide an opportunity to explore bigger markets, adding that Pakistan was blessed with quality crops and fruits.
After the country faced a tomato crisis, the scientists should develop a mechanism to promote off-season agricultural products since Pakistan was unable to cultivate tomatoes for two months during the year, he said.
UAF Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said water availability has touched a level of 1,000 cubic metres per person, which placed the country in the red zone in terms of water availability.
“In Pakistan, industrialisation is linked with the agriculture sector,” Khan said.
Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Rai Niaz stressed the need for increasing collaboration to ensure food security and water availability. He suggested that farmers should adopt methods to cope with the situation.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 23rd, 2014.
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