Islamabad - The agricultural experts from University of Canberra are in Islamabad and are finalising arrangements for delivery of an Australian government-funded project designed to enhance the irrigation skills of farmers in Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab.

The project Enhancing Irrigation Skills of Farmers will aim to increase irrigation productivity in Pakistan by developing farmers’ skills in water and nutrient management, said a statement issued by the Australian embassy yesterday. It will be undertaken by the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research, University of Canberra, Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources and Social Science Research Institute.

Acting Australian High Commissioner, Jurek Juszczyk said farmers required ongoing education to stay aware of fast-moving developments in technology, science and business management which affect agricultural operations.

“This project will help increase farmers’ knowledge in these areas and help them adopt practices that are profitable, environmentally sound and contribute to quality of life.  Farmers are critical to creating food security and rural prosperity in Pakistan. Australia is working closely with the government of Pakistan, other donor partners and Pakistan private sector to provide technical training and support for research and development in the agriculture sector,” Juszczyk said. The project will train more than 3,000 farmers across Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab. Many of these farmers will become trainers to transfer their skills to other rural communities across Pakistan. ACIAR has been working in Pakistan since 1984 to improve agricultural productivity, build technical capacity and increase the incomes of Pakistani farmers through collaboration between the Australian and Pakistani agricultural sectors.