Rawalpindi-A gender-inclusive training was conducted at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi on “Opportunities in Climate Change for Sustainable and Drought Resistant Agriculture” here on Monday.

Minister for Climate Change Zartaj Gul Wazir participated as a chief guest. While addressing the participants, the minister said that Pakistan is facing the worst effects due to the climate change and falls in the top 10 countries in the world in this regard. She said that climate change is not only increasing temperature, but also affecting our ecosystem which is resulting in food insecurity. 

She said that climate change is one of the worst threats which Pakistan is facing. We prioritise the issue which is linked to individuals or a small group, but climate change is an issue which is affecting the whole population, she said. During her speech she said that being an agricultural country, our 70% population depends upon it and it is an alarming situation that due to climate change and drought we are facing the food shortage. 

She said that it’s a disgraceful situation for us that our children are dying due to drought in Sindh and Balochistan. 

She said that climate change is one of the top priority agenda of this government and they are working on an emergency basis as plantation of one billion trees would be completed this year. She also hinted on the rules and regulations being developed by the government for water pumping which are the first of its kind in Pakistan. 

Commenting on industry linkage with the academia, she said that this part is being neglected in Pakistan, which should be strengthened to meet the future needs. The minister appreciated the efforts of the vice chancellor and his team and said that her ministry seeks technical assistance from experts and university’s scholars.

Vice Chancellor Prof Dr. Qamar uz Zaman said that the university is working hard to make its progress not only in academics, but in the field also to strengthen the link between academia, industry and growers. 

He said that many teams of Arid Agriculture University consisting of agri scientists, researchers and students have been formulated who will visit different villages of different tehsils of pothohar to facilitate farmers. While appreciating the government’s clean, green Pakistan initiative, he said that almost twenty thousand plants have been distributed amongst the community free of cost with thousands of plantations at Koont farm. He said that his university will stand side by side with the government for any initiative towards agriculture.