Balochistan has witnessed 23 percent more agricultural growth during last one year due to hands on training water management training workshops organised at University of Agriculture Faisalabad. Balochistan would become a new food basket not only for Pakistan but for the entire population of central Asian countries in the years to come as four agro ecological zones and conducive environment enable the farmers make more investment on fruits and vegetables for growing population.
This was stated by UAF Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan (SI) while addressing the 30 Baloch participants of 10-day training workshop on on-farm water management here at new senate hall of the University here on Monday. Ten-Day training course regarding on-farm water management is a third of its kind as UAF had successfully conducted two similar programmes for the Agricultural Officers of the Balochistan during the last two years. The training course is being conduced by the Balochistan Agricultural project funded by USAID and implemented by FAO in eight districts of Balochistan. He said UAF has recently launched a water resources engineering degree programme to address the issue in a more advanced fashion.
Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said there is a tight match between growing population and food security challanges. Referring towards recent FAO publication, he said that out of 53 million acre land under cultivation, 12 million acre is under sugarcane and rice cultivation with abundant use of water. He urged that we need to pull the country out of vicious circle of growing five major crops. He described the rice cultivation in Pakistan and its export as a virtual water export and urged to put some price on commercial water usage. Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan stressed the need of overhauling the current farming system as in recent past climate change had put its affects drastically.