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Negative impact of fog on crop yield: experts recommend that government devise effective strategies

Leading experts on Wednesday expressed their concerns over negative impact of fog and change in rainfall pattern on crop yield, health and aviation operation and recommended the government to devise effective strategies for addressing these issues. 

An International Conference on “Challenges in Water Security to Meet the Growing Food Requirement” organised here by the Pakistan Academy of Sciences (PAS), in collaboration with Association of Academies and Societies of Sciences in Asia (AASSA). Leading experts of Pakistan, Turkey, Malaysia, Korea and Nepal were the resource persons at this important scientific forum. In addition to technical presentations and discussions by the experts, three Panel Discussions of the workshop were led by senior scientists like Dr Amir Muhammed, Engr. Shamsul Mulk, and Dr Mubarik Ali. At the conclusion of conference, experts gave recommendations as a result of group discussions. 

Dr Ghulam Rasool Director General (DG) of Pakistan Metrological Department said that winter fog is frequent with the passage of time and it is putting negative impacts on crop yield, health, aviation operation, and obstruction in transportation. There is a need to initiate action to investigate the reasons and develop strategies to address the problem. 

He further said that shafting rainfall pattern has left severe impacts on season crops, which has declined, especially cotton yield and trees plantation in Nepal. There is a need to develop new varieties of best suit for the future climatic condition, he said. He maintained that agriculture meteorology department should be established in universities across the country adding that crops and livestock insurance scheme should be encouraged. 

Another leading expert Dr Mushtaq Gill said that construction of small and large reservoirs without affecting delta is mandatory for coping with threats of climate change. He recommended institutional capacity building of stockholders and promoting high efficiency irrigation system with solar pumping in water stress areas. 

Dr Mubarik Ali, Member Food Security and Climate Change, Planning Commission of Pakistan recommended that development of water accounting and auditing system is necessary for coping with current challenges and promotion of policies and technologies for efficient use of water. 

He said that reform in agriculture marketing system will ensure fair price to farmers and establishment of good storage facilities for overcoming seasonal and annual fluctuation in food. While chairing the concluding session, Zahid Hamid, Federal Minister for Climate Change stated that despite the constraints of water scarcity and climate change food security for the fast increasing populations of Asian countries is achievable. He said this can be accomplished on sustainable basis by employing well thought of science-based solutions and strategies. 

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