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Climate smart agriculture profile launched in Punjab

LAHORE: The Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) profile for Punjab province has been launched. Agriculture Department, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) have jointly prepared the profile.

Benish Fatima Sahi, Additional Secretary Agriculture (Task Force), Dr Anjum Ali, Director General Agriculture (Ext & AR), Syed Zafaryaab Haider, DGA (Water Management), Muhammad Rafiq Akhtar Director Agriculture Information, Punjab along with other officers of department and FAO representatives participated in this report launching ceremony.

On this occasion, Benish Fatima Sahi said that Pakistan is considered to be one of the most vulnerable to climate change, with serious impacts on agriculture and food security, due to its geographical location – ranking as the 7th country most affected from natural disasters on the Global Climate Risk Index for 2017.

The profile highlights climate smart agriculture strategies that can help mitigate and adapt to extreme weather events in Punjab, while at the same time contribute to increased agricultural productivity and food security in the province. It emphasises the need for agricultural diversification, reducing dependence on cash crops and switching to higher value nutritious crops. It also points out the urgent need to improve water management strategies, increase irrigation efficiency and reduce water wastage.

In addition, it provides an assessment of the provincial policy and institutional environment for CSA, identifies barriers and solutions for province and district-level policy design and implementation. Farrukh Toirov, Deputy FAO Representative in Pakistan said: “It is critical to take pre-emptive measures to address challenges presented by climate change to the agriculture sector, food security and economic growth of Pakistan and its provinces. The CSA profile for Punjab is a step in that direction.

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CSA initiatives sustainably increase productivity, filed resilience and reduce or remove greenhouse gases. The profile will be instrumental in assessment of provincial policy and institutional environment for CSA, identification of barriers and solutions for province and district-level policy design and implementation, and highlighting financing opportunities for CSA investments at the provincial level.

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