Need of agricultural policies to combat climate change

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Lahore:  Climate change affects farming in several ways like heavy rainfalls, fluctuation in temperature, heat waves causing pests increase and decreasing crop quality and rapidly changing climate may pose serious threats to Pakistan’s agriculture, say experts.

An expert Rabia Sultana while talking to News Lens Pakistan said, “Our agriculture is very sensitive to climate change as recent raining season has already done damage to mango and orange orchards at a larger scale,“ If more rain comes as it is expected, damage can be worse, she added.

Environmentalist and Water expert Dr. Munawar Sabir states while talking to News Lens Pakistan, “In developing countries farmers are more exposed to climate change. Crop failure, livestock diseases and mortality, health risks, lower income and higher dependence on aid are major problems of small farmers affected by climate change.”

Project manager of Damaan, Shoaib Aziz tells News Lens Pakistan” Climate change is a great threat to Pakistan and small farmers bear most of the destruction. Time has come that farmers should be trained to shift their traditional way of farming to organic way of production.”

Khalique Ahmed, an expert tells News Lens Pakistan, “Climate change is a major threat to our region. In Pakistan, average crop rate is expected to drop by 50 percent in the next fifteen to twenty years which is alarming.”

The University of Agriculture Peshawar has established the Climate Change Centre to conduct research on climate change and its effects as weather system is creating opportunities as well as threats to agriculture.

Director of the university Dr. Jawad Ali tells News Lens Pakistan, “KPK is more vulnerable to climate change than any other province due to agro-ecological diversity. It is very important to learn to live with changes as these changes in heat and vague hydrological patterns are expected to affect more in future. Farmers need guidance and training to cope up with the upcoming challenges”.

According to International Fertilizer Development Centre USA, by 2080 agriculture productivity will be reduced to 10 to 25 percent in developing countries.

Khadam Hussain, an expert while talking to News lens Pakistan suggests “Multinational companies acquiring agricultural lands and producing same crop year after year reducing land effectiveness should be discouraged as the concept of corporate farming is a great threat to agriculture.

Research study of Consultative Group for International Agriculture Research (CGIAR) on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security shows that countries expected to have serious climate change effects in future are now mobilizing community radio stations, government’s meteorological services, agriculture agents, farmers and schools to develop and distribute weather forecast and farming strategies that can provide a front line defense against the effects of climate change on food production.

Minister of agriculture (Punjab), Dr. Farrukh Javed shares with News Lens Pakistan, “Government understands that more than 1000 acres are affected by recent rainfalls and more damage is expected if rains will come again. Our efforts are to protect crops with the help of farmers. The plan emphasizes on farmer training, crop production as per weather conditions and to avoid water scarcity in future”.

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