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Senate body seeks report on Agricultural Council land

The Senate’s Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research on Tuesday expressed displeasure over the delay in the submission of a report over the status of the 1,400 acres of land belonging to the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC).

Chairing the committee meeting at Parliament House, Senator Syed Muzafar Hussain Shah directed the Islamabad mayor to seek assistance from The National Food Security and Research minister and to present the report at the earliest.

The matter pertaining to appointments made in PARC during the last three years was deferred due to non-availability of the required documents. “The PARC chairman and the committee secretary should hold a meeting to ensure that all documents are submitted before the next meeting,” the chairman said.

The committee also discussed a report of its sub-committee about wheat cultivation.

Senator Mohsin Leghari said that a seminar had been organised to raise awareness about wheat cultivation. “However, an interaction between scientists and wheat-growers could not be held due to the schedule of the seminar,” he said. The chairman said that even the committee had not been informed about the seminar in time. “Committee members could not participate in the event,” he said.

He directed PARC officials to compile a list of prominent wheat growers in each district. “Such cultivators should be invited to seminars so they may interact with scientists and get maximum research facilities,” he said.

The committee was also briefed about the position of cotton crop in Punjab and Sindh. The members were informed that cultivation targets could not be achieved due to a shortage of water. “Only 88.6 percent cultivation target in Punjab and 94 percent target in Sindh were achieved,” officials said.

The committee also discussed a progress report submitted by the Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Company (PASSCO) managing director over wheat procurement in Sindh and Punjab. The committee was informed that the minutes of the last meeting held in this regard had not been received yet. The committee decided to hold a meeting in Karachi over the issue. The meeting was attended by Senator Muhammad Mohsin Khan Leghari, Muhammad Zafarullah Khan Dhandla, Hamza, Mukhtiar Ahmed Dhamrah Aajiz, Hari Ram, Brig (r) John Keneth Williams, Muhammad Azam Khan Swati and Minister for National Food Security Sikander Bosan.

Climate change: Federal Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid on Tuesday said that Pakistan was developing comprehensive policies and plans to tackle climate change.

He was addressing the Pre-COP 23 Consultative Dialogue on climate change mitigation. The event had been organised by the Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change in collaboration with the Ministry of Climate Change in Islamabad. “The Pre-COP-22 Consultative Dialogue held last year did help to crystallise our thinking regarding the Climate Change issue highlighted in Marrakech. The organisers initiated the consultative process four months ago. A series of six dialogues are planned to be held over six weeks on specific thematic areas, which includes adaptation and mitigation, loss and damage, national determined contributions, means of implementation, new market mechanisms and transparency measurements.”

He highlighted the various achievements of the Ministry of Climate Change including ratification of Paris Climate Agreement, submission of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, Green Pakistan Programme, approval of a new Forest Policy from Council of Common Interests, passing of Climate Change Act, declaring Astola Island first marine protected area of Pakistan, reforming Global Change Impact Study Centre and adoption Sustainable Goals as national goals by the National Assembly of Pakistan.

“We should point out three key aspects from submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions at COP-23. First, the projected increase in Green House Gases emissions is four times. Second, the potential of reducing emissions by 20 percent is subject to availability of $40 billion at current price and adaptation needs ranging from $7 to 14 billion per year over the period 2010-2015.”

Staff Report. Senate body seeks report on Agricultural Council land. Daily Times, July 19, 2017.

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