ISLAMABAD – Chairman of the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) Dr. Muhammad Aslam Tahir, has said that agriculture sector faces a great challenge: to produce more food of better quality while using less water per unit of output.

He was addressing the Farmer’s Day at its Research and Demonstration Form Sial Mor Sargodah in continuation with the World Water Day 2012 celebrations. He said the farmers are at the centre of any process of change and need to be encouraged and guided, through appropriate incentives and governance practices, to conserve natural resources.

“Keeping in view the vital role of demonstration in research, PCRWR had established its research and demonstration farms in different climatic zones of the country: irrigated, rainfed, desert and mountainous areas and research on use of high efficiency water management/conservation technologies for enhanced agricultural production was conducted and demonstrated on these Farms, for the awareness of the farmers of that area”, he added.

Speaking on the occasion Akhlaq Ahmad Tarrar, Federal Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology said “research on high value crops, irrigation water management and management of soils problems need to be given much higher priority.

The provincial extension services also need overhauling. Irrigation institutions must respond to the needs of farmers, ensuring more and reliable delivery of water and increasing transparency in its management. More emphasis must be given to technology demonstration and the use of broadcast media”.

The Federal secretary applauded the role played by PCRWR through its research, demonstration and extension services in creating awareness in the farmer community for enhancing productivity with efficient use of water.