RAWALPINDI - Vice Chancellor (VC) Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR) Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad has said that change and uplift of the arid region might not be too productive due to isolated working of different R&D organizations of Agriculture Department.

He emphasized that focus should be on rainwater harvesting, water resource development and value addition of farm produce.

He stated while chairing a meeting Friday of different agriculture departments of Punjab at the varsity to discuss and formulate working paper for the forthcoming P&D meeting on the Water Vision and development of arid region of Chief Minister Punjab.

Representative of ICARDA, Soil Conservation, Agriculture Department, BARI Chakwal, ABAD, Punjab Agri. Extension Department, Institute of Space Technology and Additional Secretary Planning Agriculture Department Ahmad Ali Zafer were also present on the occasion.

The VC said that water was an essential element for agriculture and livestock and mismanagement of this valuable resource has compounded problem, which was badly affecting the economy of the country.

He further said that a plenty of rainwater was being wasted before reaching the ultimate destination i.e. crop. He was of the opinion that efficient use of water in agriculture sector was needed and suggested the techniques of water harvesting to overcome the problem of water scarcity.

In the meeting, participants reviewed previous work done by ABAD, Agriculture Engineering Field Wing, Soil Conservation, Water Management Wing, Agri. Extension Wing, Forest, Livestock and Small Dams Organizations and earmarked the potential area for further development in Potohar Area. They agreed to develop mechanism for collaboration of various departments to achieve output oriented results and discussed the responsibilities of various institutes in Potohar Area Development Programme.

In the meeting, research activities being carried on at the institutions were also elaborated and representatives of different organizations agreed to strengthen the interaction and collaboration among institutes. They highlighted the significance of close linkages with organizations and hoped that it would not only help them to resolve common issues but also enhance the mutual understanding for the development activities/programs.

The representatives of different organizations highlighted the location, topography, demographic, climate and other characteristics of Potohar region along with problems impeding the development of the area and discussed future action plans.

They also presented the glimpses of efforts made by their organizations for uplift of the area through implementation of various projects and their impact thereof.

The participants appreciated the efforts of VC for arranging this important and need of the time meeting and said that this initiative would improve the well-being of the farming community of Potohar area and would strengthen economy of the country.