Islamabad - The Agriculture Counsellor of US Embassy David Williams on Tuesday said that ‘Pakistan Water Dialogue Project’ was being helpful for the local farmers.  Three experts from the United States Department of Agriculture are conducting water-resource workshops in Islamabad this week to support the Pakistan Water Dialogue Project, said a US embassy statement.

Eighty-five senior officials and technical experts from the federal and provincial ministries, universities, and NGOs attended the events, which were organised by USDA and the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the dry areas, it said.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the first workshop, David Williams said that the project has helped the farmers to efficiently capture, store, and use water for agriculture.

The USDA experts leading the workshops are Michael Kucera, an Agronomist at USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service, Jon Fripp, a Stream Mechanics Civil Engineer at USDA’s Construction and Soil Management Centre, and Hilary Landfried, a Program Manager with the US Foreign Agricultural Service’s Office of Capacity Building and Development.

For six years now, USDA, with support from the United States Agency for International Development, had worked to improve watershed rehabilitation and irrigation by promoting practices and technologies that assisted in water and soil conservation, said the US embassy statement.

USDA’s work began in 2011, in partnership with ICARDA, with a five-year program to help rural farmers. The project established over 40 demonstration sites, published 150,000 brochures, held 240 farmers’ field days and reached 14,000 farmers.

Due to these efforts, more than 1,500 farmers have already adopted one or more of the promoted technologies. The USDA also partnered with the International Water Management Institute from 2013-2015. This program brought together local officials and USDA technical experts to develop the Pakistan Water Dialogue Consensus Action Plan.

In 2016, USDA and ICARDA began Phase II of the Pakistan Water Dialogue: Diffusion and Adoption through Partnerships and Action of the Best Watershed Rehabilitation and Irrigation Practices. This program builds upon management practices developed in the earlier Watershed program, the statement.