MIRPURKHAS - The first water expo 2018 on the occasion of World Water Day brought together water users, farmers, peasant women, artisans, experts, water companies, academia and financial institutions on Thursday to express solidarity with the world nations.

Besides RDF, all the partner organisations, banks, a large number of artisan community women, women farmers, public and private companies, water forums and farmer organisations set up stalls and displayed their products, specially the colorful work at women-led stalls attracted people to see and purchase.

Some private companies and banks facilitated farmers to get benefit from their services. Representatives of banks motivated farmers to see possibility for getting loans for agriculture and other business ventures.

PPP Member National Assembly (MNA) Mir Munawar Ali Khan Talpur with organisers inaugurated the mega event and visited different stalls and appreciated the valuable products manufacturers and expressed his deep interest on the display of different companies and institutions.

He mentioned about the irrigation canals which had become dumping sites for receiving industrial and municipal waste, which he proposed to restore for fresh water for agriculture.

He expressed the hope that this event may open avenue for farmers to develop linkages with financial institutions for acquiring loan.

He further said that Sindh naturally was rich in agriculture with fertile and productive land and irrigation system, but now due to some reasons farmers are facing problems and deprived of reasonable prices of their crop production.

Sindh Abadgar Board Vice Chairman Mahmood Nawaz Shah said water is vital for agriculture, which is main source of producing food.

He quoted the world nations, saying 70 percent water was used for agriculture to produce food for feeding ever growing population.

“We in Pakistan, especially in Sindh should realise that scarcity of water has become a big challenge for the government, farmers and over all food producers and users,” he added.

He said Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) looking to prevailing situation, predicted that till 2050-60 water usage might be the most difficult to produce food for rising population. He expressed that Pakistan was among the nations where population growing rate was higher than other countries.

Thus we have to face more challenges to feed the population. We have to decide together whether or not we will produce food as per need for the population.

He said there were many factors linked to water scarcity and not only dam building. “Water scarcity was major issue as river Indus does not have proper water to reach its ultimate end Indus delta. We have to work to improve water conservation efficiency,” he added.

RDF Executive Director Ashfaq Soomro said that this was first of its kind expo in Sindh where trade and industry, government departments and NGOs were gathered to facilitate the farmers.

This was in fact the event of farmers of Sindh, who came from various parts of Sindh. He thanked all participants and partners for contribution to make the event successful. RDF would continue facilitating farmers to get benefits and conserve water.

Deputy Commissioner Zahid Hussain Memon said peasants need awareness to use water sustainable at this point when it had become costly commodity. He said farmers were main users of water they must be educated for the purpose.

The event jointly organised by Research Development Foundation (RDF), Sindh Agriculture University (SAU) Tadojam, Mehran University Engineering and Technology (MUET), Sindh Irrigation Drainage Authority (SIDA), Mirpurkhas District administration and Laar Humanitarian Development Programme (LHDP) in collaboration with Trocair Pakistan at Sindh Horticulture Research Institute Mirpurkhas.