Agricultural water productivity to ensure food security

Pakistan is the country whose economy is (21%) based upon agriculture. At least 7% of country population is adopted to the agriculture and suffer from food security.

Agricultural water productivity to ensure food securityIn Pakistan the major source of the food is agricultural crops such as grain crops (wheat, rice, Maize) and vegetables. However nowadays, our country is facing problems of food shortage, high inflation and irrigation water shortage which is due to the change in climate.

The temperature of Pakistan is rising day by day due to the increasing in the amount of CO2 gas in the atmosphere. Pakistan stands at 135th position in per ca pita Green House Gas emission among nations. By increasing CO2 concentration, it is observed that the temperature is 0.76 C in country and about 1.5 C increase in mountain region.

There are about 5000 glaciers in the Pakistan. The study shows that there is gradual decrease in surface water availability from 5220 m3 per year in 1951 to just 1000 to 1066 m3 in a year of 2018 in Pakistan.

Due to the sudden increase in the temperature mainly in the glacier’s region causing the increase in the melting of glaciers which cause the extreme events like floods in the Pakistan.

Pakistan have largest irrigation system but do not have adequate water reservoir to hold the extra amount of water. So, the much amount of the water gets wasted into the sea which cause the loss to the standing crops live.

In Pakistan almost 61 % of the districts mainly in KPK and Baluchistan faces the food both cropped as well as livestock food. Shortage of food in these regions is mainly because of the rise in high temperature and the shortage of the water.

Due to these causes the farmers of this region is shifting the cultivation of high water intensive crop (wheat, rice, sugarcane) to low water requirement crops and vegetables putting pressure on the food market and yield production is low because of more evaporation and less water availability.

Other problem is the shortage of food in the Pakistan, due to the increase in the population of the country to 2% growth rate. Due to the short supply of food and increase in the demand of the staple food cause the instability in the food markets and the staple food is not easily available for the poor people due to the shortage of food and increase in the prices.

Food scarcity causes the many problems to the people health and cause the obesity and malnutrition in the young children that cause the stunted growth of food and may in some cases death of children’s due to the food unavailability.

So, by changing in the climatic conditions there are many problems occurs which cause the food shortage, changes in the crop pattern and floods which destroys the standing crops and causes the damage to the infrastructure.

Therefore to come over these problems we have to take the steps to reduce the changes in climate, better management of the water resources and adopting the grain crops pattern.

The irrigation system of the Pakistan is one of the best systems in the world which is known as Indus river system which receives the fresh water from the world’s largest glaciers. According to the studies 23.39 million hectare of cropped area the irrigated area accounts 84% of the crop area. Irrigation is necessary for the crop growth.

Irrigation system of the Pakistan is consist of 45 main canal which emerges from the rivers and have 12 link canals which transfer the water from the western river to the eastern rivers of the country. Similarly there are two dams’ two dams in the Pakistan named Tarbella and Mangla which are the major reservoirs of the Pakistan.

These dams are built on the western rivers to regulate seasonal flow of the river or to provide the irrigation water during the winter and in summer flow of water is 16% but the demand of the water is high. The main source of surface water is the glaciers, river, rainfall, which are main source of the water for the irrigation to the crops.

The irrigation canal system is conventional which cause the losses of irrigation water from irrigation canals. The irrigation canals are not build and the water is lost through seepage of water in to the soil and their relative areas and from the water channel during the transport to the field. Water losses by the high temperature in climate and the much of water is loss through the evaporation.

And the most of water is moved into the sea without any use. The irrigation conservation is important to overcome the shortage of the water. Because it is the major problem now a days.

We have to do some managements for this, build the new dams for the storage of the water coming from the glaciers because the most of the water is moved to the Arabian sea without any use and the storage of our present dams is so less that cannot hold the much amount of coming from the rapid melting of the glaciers or build the irrigation canals to reduce the loss of water from the seepage.

Irrigation channels should be modified to reduce water loss. To conserve the water we have to adopt the different irrigation method such as drip irrigation method which is the best method to conserve the water or sprinkler method. These methods can conserve the water more efficiently.

We should have to develop the verities of the crops which gives the maximum yield on low water requirement. Climate change is the main reason for all of these problems we should grow the plants or trees to low the rising temperature of the climate. By using these methods we can conserve the water and get the maximum yield of the crops. Food insecurity is caused by these methods.

These varieties and the water management methods can insure the food security. These varieties of the staple food crops will use the less water and give the maximum yield and more staple food security is produced. So the food is easily available for the peoples. Because food insecurity may cause many problems for the peoples.

People will not get the proper food and the cost of food is so high. Food insecurity is also caused because the food is not stored properly and the wastage of food is another problem. These problems shall be solved early because they may cause food shortage and water unavailability in the future.

We should launch awareness campaigns to aware the people from this problem and to grow the trees which reduce the climate change and the use of water properly because water shortage is the problem now a days and not to waste the food because food security is the biggest problem now a days also.

By using these all these controlled method we should solve the problems of the water shortage which is important for the irrigation and insure the availability of the food for the peoples at low prices. By taking these steps we should conserve the water and ensure the food security for the peoples.

Authors: Muhammad Adnan, Dr. Mubashar Nadeem, Akash Munawar, Mubashir Hussain, Mohsin Amin and Hassan Noorani

Department of agronomy, college of agriculture, University of Sargodha

Muhammad Adnan

I am professionally qualified as agronomist and studying MSc. (Hons.) agronomy at College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha, Pakistan and focusing on plant nutrition and weed management. I Completed my B.Sc. (Hons.) in agriculture in 2018 from University of Sargodha.

Leave a Reply