A report on Pakistan’s Agriculture and Rural Economy published by the International Food Policy Research Institute contains some useful recommendations for Pakistan. According to the report, Pakistan needs to focus more on agricultural research and development and it can redirect the funds currently used for providing wheat subsidies to that purpose. The report also highlights the present day requirement of building water storage facilities as the country is a semi-arid region that relies on irrigation for its water supply. This will include building new water reservoirs and even canal rehabilitation and expansion. This is important given the global climate change and Pakistan’s vulnerability to it. Increase in global temperature can cause floods in Pakistan, which, in addition to the loss of precious lives, also has the potential to significantly alter the current dynamic under which agriculture is practised in the country. Therefore, the country will need to be prepared for any such eventuality and to that effect, region specific research has to be conducted owing to its food security which is at stake.
The construction of dams and water storage facilities is a far more concrete step that the country needs to take immediately. An integrated and comprehensive policy is needed to avoid the worrisome situation in the future. The country’s food security is at stake if it does not build enough dams and barrages to address the water challenges ahead.
Faraz, Khan. Agriculture in the country. The News, February 3, 2017