Rawalpindi-Speakers at a training session said that Pakistan was highly vulnerable to negative impacts of climate change.

They stressed that there was dire need of developing adaptation/management strategies to reduce the impact of climate change for sustainable crop production.

They stated this while addressing at the inaugural session of the two days hands-on training on climate change impact assessment and adaptation strategies for wheat and groundnut production using decision support system here on Wednesday at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR).

The training was organised by the PMAS-AAUR Department of Agronomy with an aim build capacity of young scientists, researchers and post-graduate students in the subject matter. The training will also provide an opportunity of developing consortium of researchers across the country for crop production under changing climate using the decision support system.

Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, former VC University of Agriculture, Faisalabad was the chief guest while Vice Chancellor PMAS-AAUR Dr Qamar-uz-Zaman was the guest of honor. Agronomists, agricultural researchers, soil scientists, agro-meteorologists, nutrient management specials, resource management specialists, agricultural extension agents, policy makers, economists, planners and other agricultural professionals striving to reduce risks in increasing agricultural productivity are participating in the training.

Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan highlighted in his address the impacts of changing climate on future crop yields and said that Pakistan’s agriculture sector was the victim of rapid climate change. He said that there was a research gap about climate change impacts and adaptation to agricultural development in Pakistan.

He was of the view that changing climate patterns were causing irregular devastating events including floods, heat waves, droughts, deforestation, storms, de-gradation of air quality and worsening situation of food.

He urged for adopting measures on war footing for creating awareness among the farming community about the impact of climate change. He said that there was a dire need of taking steps to cope with the impact of climate change, particularly agriculture and livestock sectors. He suggested creating awareness among farming community for use of modern methods of cultivation in areas prone to climate change.

Dr Qamar-uz-Zaman said that a large population in the country was associated with the agriculture sector and there was dire need of adopting modern technology that would help in reduction in poverty and ensure food for the ever-increasing population. The vice chancellor emphasised linkages between academia, industry and end users by equipping them with modern technology. He said that the PMAS-AAUR would provide every support for capacity building of the agriculture extension system in the province and particularly in Photohar region.

The training workshop was part of a research project funded by Punjab Agricultural Research Board.

Dean Faculty of Agriculture Dr Fayyaz-ul-Hassan highlighted the activities to be would carried out during the workshop. Dr Syed Aftab Wajid from University of Agriculture, Faisalabad and Dr Ishfaq Ahmad from COMSATS University, Islamabad were also invited as resource persons in the workshop. A wide range of experts from academia and research organisations from all over the country participated in the workshop.