ISLAMABAD : Speakers at a workshop on ‘Sustainable Agriculture Water Management’ on Friday underlined need for effective water management through research, partnership and proper decision making.

They pointed out certain weaknesses in the present system and urged its improvement besides focussing on variety of crops like Olive as well as capacity building of farmers to prepare vaulable human capital in the agriculture sector.

The speakers expressed views at the concluding session of a three-day workshop on ‘Sustainable Agriculture Water Management in a Changing Environment - A Special Focus on Olive Tree’ at Pir Mehar Ali Shah University. It was suggested that olive industry of Pakistan should be sustainable as well as profitable to compete in the international market.

Moreover, selection of suitable regions, appropriate olive varieties, selection of suitable cultivars, pest and disease management, ensuring quality control, preparing human capital and capacity building of farmers are some of the utmost factors for growing olive in Pakistan, the speakers noted.

Chairman Higher Education Commission, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad in his address as a chief guest stressed the need to implement the olive research to meet the local needs and getting maximum yield in changing climate.

He said Pakistan is blessed with tremendous natural resources but facing a shortage of food, energy and water. This situation needs to transform new techniques and technologies to the farmers to increase the per capita production.

“The adoption of the latest agricultural development and technology will help decrease food insecurity. Water use should be rationalized as well,” he said. Earlier, Chairman HEC planted a tree and inaugurated Aquarium-cum-Aviary in the University premises.

Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad, in his address emphasized on the importance of olive and olive cultivation in the area and assured the institutional support of PMAS-AAUR for the developmental initiatives of olive and its cultivation.

He stressed for holding such events on regular basis for the socio economic development of the region.

Dr. Azeem Khalid, Organizing Secretary of the training workshop thanked the participants and national/international speakers for their sharing their research experiences with local farmers and academia.

This international workshop brought together experts from Italy, Greece, Tunisia and Pakistan, who are highly qualified and selected for their wide experience in the olive industry.

Farmers from various areas of Pakistan also shared their olive farming experience in the workshop. More than 200 researchers, farmers and academia people attended the training workshop.