Home Agriculture Sindh govt. to formulate bio-saline agriculture plan

Sindh govt. to formulate bio-saline agriculture plan

Sindh govt. to formulate bio-saline agriculture plan
Conference on Bio-Saline Agriculture

80 billion cubic meters bio-saline water is available in Tharparkar underneath the coal reserves – SECMC official

By GR Junejo

Mithi: Government of Sindh will provide 80 percent subsidy on the high-efficiency irrigation system to farmers across Sindh while bio-saline agriculture will be adopted as an official agriculture practice to combating the water scarcity problems in the province.

This was announced by Abdul Rahim Soomro, Secretary of Agriculture during a One Day Conference on Bio-saline Agriculture in Arid Areas of Sindh organized by the District Administration of Tharparkar, Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company, Agriculture Department, and other partners on Saturday.

The conference gathered government and private sector experts, academicians, farmer organizations, development sector organizations, and media to discuss the potential of bio-saline agriculture opportunities in combating water availability woes.

The conference unanimously passed recommendations for policy actions for the Government of Sindh to translate them into policy actions. The conference said saline water resources of Thar may be considered an opportunity and the experience of organizations like Thar Foundation may be utilized for furthering the practice across the region.

Salt tolerant plants should be introduced along with regular water quality monitoring and linkages between the public and private sector, academia, and farmers should be developed for experience sharing and introduction of the high-efficiency irrigation system. The establishment of nurseries and creating demand of bio-saline agriculture products by growing salt eating halophyte crops and fish farms on saline water should be practiced in all arid areas of Sindh, it was recommended.

Chairing the concluding session, Secretary Agriculture, Abdul Rahim Soomro said recommendations of the conference will be raised with Sindh Cabinet for translating policies into action programs for adopting bio-saline agriculture practice in Sindh.

He announced that it has been principally decided by Sindh government to provide an 80 percent subsidy to the farmers of Sindh. The decision will be formally approved by the Sindh Cabinet, he added.

He also announced that on the pattern of Pakistan Agriculture Research Council, Sindh Agriculture Research Council is being established to promote agriculture productivity in Sindh. A committee on Bio-saline Agriculture shall also be formed representing all the public and private sector stakeholders and academia and corporate and development sector organizations of Sindh.

The secretary agriculture also said that the provincial government wants to see Thar turn into a green region through bio-saline agriculture initiatives by adopting high efficiency irrigation techniques.

Sindh govt. to formulate bio-saline agriculture plan-Sindh Courier-2Deputy Commissioner Tharparkar, Muhammad Nawaz Soho in his welcome address said that the district administration would provide all-out support to promote bio-saline agriculture in the region to combat droughts.

Ahmed Munib, Director of Site Operations, Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) said that 80 billion cubic meters of bio-saline water is available in Tharparkar underneath the coal reserves. “SECMC has utilized the same water and produced high yield crops in last three years proving the concept that Thar has enormous potential of bio-saline agriculture.

Vice-Chancellor of Sindh Agriculture University Tando Jam, Dr. Fateh Muhammad Marri, Vice-Chancellor of NED University Karachi, Dr. Sarosh Lodhi, Bhai Khan Shar, Vice-Chancellor of the Shaheed Allah Bux University of Arts, Design and Heritage, Jamshoro, Dr. Bilques Gul, Director, Institute of Halophyte Utilization, University of Karachi, agriculturists, Mahmood Nawaz Shah, Nabi Bux Sathio, Mustafa Ujjan of SIAPEP, Dr. Abdul Razzak of Asuk University, Turkey, Sohail Awan of Human Development Foundation were among the prominent speakers, while Mohsin Babbar of Thar Foundation moderated the conference proceedings.