2m hectares affected by salinization in Indus Basin: FPCCI chief

FPCCI president Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that we need to have an effective, modern, and futuristic salinization management system in place as 2 million hectares of land have been affected by salinity in Indus Basin. It is a matter of food security for our future generations, he added.

2m hectares affected by salinization in Indus Basin FPCCI chief

Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh explained that tile drainage is one of the most effective methods of reclaiming and rehabilitating saline & water-logged agricultural lands. He expressed his profound concerns that despite being an agrarian country, Pakistan imports more than $10b worth of food products annually; and, we need to do everything to go for import substitution in food imports to reduce the strains on our foreign exchange reserves, rupee value and, at the same time, protect the masses from spikes in international food commodities prices. FPCCI Chief maintained that enhanced groundwater management is vital for a healthy, food-secure, economically-vibrant, and green Pakistan. He added that Pakistan’s Indus Basin Irrigation System is the biggest artificial groundwater recharge system in the world; however, the present water management model does not mirror it.

Engr M A Jabbar, Vice President FPCCI, emphasized that already 35 – 40pc of agricultural land dependent on the Indus Basin Irrigation System has become saline and water-logged; yet, the governmental agencies – provincial & federal – are not taking stock of the criticality of the situation. Prof. Dr. Viqar Hussain, Convener of FPCCI’s Standing Committee on Environment, maintained that Sindh is also facing the issues of seawater intrusion and land degradation. Additionally, Pakistan is extracting 50 MAF from the aquifers; which is no longer sustainable. He has proposed the formulation of a National Ground Water Regulatory Policy to address the issue.

Source: This news is originally published by dailytimes