RAWALPINDI: Speakers on a three-day ’16th International Soil Science Congress’ under the theme ‘Healthy Soils for Food Security’ held at Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUER) on Tuesday emphasised the importance of protecting and improving natural resources, particularly soil, for increasing agriculture production in the country.
They stressed the need to adopt latest agri practices and urged the agricultural scientists to speed up their work to boost production in order to feed the increasing population.
Defence Production Minister Rana Tanveer Hussain was the chief guest at the inaugural session while Pakistan Science Foundation Chairman Dr Muhammad Asharf, PMAS-AAUR Vice Chancellor Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad, MNA Shizra Munsab were also present. Faculty members of PMAS-AAUR and more than 300 hundreds scientists from federal and provincial policymakers, education sector, agriculture extension industry from Pakistan and abroad attended the congress.
Rana Tanveer Hussain, in his address, said the economy of a country heavily depends on the health of its soil, the productivity of which resultantly affects its intrinsic characteristics coupled with interaction of external inputs such as water, fertiliser and climate and a host of other factors.
He said the challenges ahead in the 21st century would undoubtedly be more complex, difficult and numerous in the wake of continued rapid depletion, degradation and pollution of soil resources.
The minister said scientific management of soil and water has to continue playing a key role in realising the yield potential of the modern high yielding crop cultivars. In view of the changing global agricultural scenario, the future of agriculture has to be more knowledge?based, he added.
Hussain urged the soil scientists to gear up their efforts for meeting the future challenges of fulfilling requirements of the country’s food security.
PMAS-AAUR Vice Chancellor Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad, in his welcome address highlighted the importance of efficient use of farm inputs and said water shortage for agricultural crops is a major problem faced by farming community. He said the per capita water availability has decreased and Pakistan is among the list of the water deficient countries.
He said that consistent efforts needed to meet the growing food requirement of the population, and urged the Soil Science Society of Pakistan to play leading role in conservation of land and water resources and guide policymakers in evolving research priorities.
At the end, shields were presented to the federal minister, MNA Shizra Mansab and Pakistan Science Foundation Chairman Dr Muhammad Ashraf.
Source: Daily Times