Sindh govt. urged to invest in domestic and agro-based industries for development of Thar and Thari people
Sindh Courier Report
Agriculture experts, scientists and social activists have called for research on agriculture in Thar Desert which had often been faced with famine despite being rich in different natural resources.
They also urged Sindh government to invest in domestic and agro-based industries for the development of Thar and Thari people.
They were speaking at the First Thar Festival organized at Sindh Agriculture University (SAU) Tandojam under the auspices of Thari Students Council (TSC) and Student-Teachers Engagement Program (STEP) on Thursday. The event was presided over by Dr. Fateh Marri, Vice Chancellor Sindh Agricultural University.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony at main auditorium hall, Dr. Fateh Marri said that in order to develop Thar, there would have to be innovation in agriculture, and new projects in agriculture and livestock should be proposed.
He said that there are huge opportunities, potential in agriculture and livestock in the arid areas, therefore a sub-campus of the Sindh Agriculture University has been set up in Umerkot.
Dr. Bhai Khan Shar, Vice Chancellor, Shaheed Allah Bakhsh Soomro University of Art, Design and Heritage said Pakistan does not have modern equipment and technology to export to the world but agricultural products and handicrafts can be exported to different countries of the world. “We must make investment in tourism, as it would contribute to national development”, he said adding that Thar is rich in resources, which need to be explored. “There is an urgent need for agricultural research in Thar,” he exhorted.
Former Vice Chancellor of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Veterinary University Sakrand and eminent veterinary expert Dr. Jay Mal Dhanani said that livestock and agriculture are very important in the livelihood and business of Thar, therefore research institutions and the government should be serious to engaging youths of Thar in the both fields. He underlined the need of creating more opportunities of scholarships for Thari students.
Zahida Detho, head of Sindh Rural Partner Organization, said that Thari woman is the bravest woman in the world, as she faces many difficulties at the same time. “The Thari women raise their children through carpet-making, agriculture, cattle-raising and handicrafts,” she said urging the Thari girls to come forward for education.
Zahida Detho also called for research to reduce the burden on women.
Prof. Muhammad Ismail Kambhar, Secretary STEP said that Sindh Agriculture University has laid the foundation of a new tradition with academic and research, and added that Thar Festival is not only an entertainment program for the students but also an attempt has been made to highlight the issues and opportunities related with Thar.
Director General Agriculture Research Sindh Noor Mohammad Soomro, Social Leader Marvi Awan, Deans Dr. Qamaruddin Chachar, Dr. Aijaz Ali Khoharo, Dr. Syed Ghiasuddin Shah Rashidi, Dr. Naimatullah Leghari, Dr. Jan Mohammad Marri, Dr. Abdullah Arijo, Dr. Abdul Wahid Baloch, Dr. Altaf Siyal, Dr. Syed Ziaul Hassan Shah and others were present.
During the Thar Festival, exhibition stalls of Thari cultural dresses, vegetables and fruits, cultivation and Thari household items were set up, which were visited by guests.
Thari students Shankar Singh Sodho, Suresh Kumar, Ahmed Ali Rahmoon, Nand Lal Bheel, Paromal Maharani, Bilawal Banbhan, Suman Devi, Kainat Halepoto, Surath and others actively took part to organize the event.