ISLAMABAD - A high level delegation consisting of the experts of Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) will visit Pakistan early 2019 and will work with federal ministry of water resource and provincial agriculture departments on the issue of water management and its conservation.

In a meeting held in the Ministry of Water Resources, Australia showed interest to help Pakistan in water resource management and water conservation projects. Australian High Commissioner Ms Margret Adamson called on the Secretary Water and Resources, Shamail Ahmad Khawaja here. Both the sides discussed the future steps for implementation of actions agreed in the MoU on Water Resources management, said a press statement issued here by the ministry of water resources.

Both the sides agreed to share with each other nominees for constituting the Joint Advisory Committee and work out Annual Work Plan to achieve the objectives set out in the MoU.

The Australian High Commissioner informed that the Australian experts from ACIAR will be visiting Pakistan during early next year which will engage with provincial Agriculture departments and also with the Ministry of Water and Resources. According to ACIAR annual report 2017-18, “ACIAR works closely with the Pakistan government, Australian agencies, donor partners, non-government organisations and the Pakistani private sector to provide research, development, technical capacity building, technical support and carefully targeted interventions that underpin Pakistan development programs,”.

“During 2017–18, baseline data was collected and successful irrigation water management tools and techniques were demonstrated. An engineer from Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources was trained at CSIRO in scientific testing of moisture management tools and repair of Chameleon moisture sensors and readers. Another component of the project achieved in 2017–18 was the training of 40 facilitators who will train farmers in enhanced water management skills, and identify farmers who can train other farmers. Assessment of the impact of the work is in preparation but farmers have reported increased understanding that over-irrigation can leach the nutrients, thereby wasting money.

Using new water management skills, the farmers have reduced irrigations by up to three events, while increasing the yield by 2–6 monds per acre,” the annual report added.