The Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan has stressed scientists and agriculture experts to gear up research activities to find solutions to the negative impacts of climate change, global warming on biodiversity and create awareness among the people in this regard.
Addressing as chief guest at the opening session of sixth international science conference on "sustainable agriculture in changing climate: strategies and management" at the University of Poonch-Rawalakot here on Wednesday, he said that climatic changes and environmental issues have affected agriculture, forests, foods and livestock in all the regions and countries.
He said that the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) include besides addressing effects of climatic change, agricultural development for which the relevant government agencies need guidelines from the scientists so as to frame a comprehensive policy.
The AJK president said that science and technology had brought about a revolution in the world, and we are to find a solution to human problems by utilizing latest scientific research and technology. Our scientists and agricultural experts will have to identify which technology can help overcome food shortage erupted as a result of climatic changes. However, the use of any new technology must not affect the local ecosystem.
He said that majority of the people of Azad Kashmir depends on agriculture and forests to meet their own food requirements and the cattle feed. Therefore, we will have to adopt a strategy that on the one hand, the use of latest technologies enhances our per acre produce, while on the other, forests and environment do not affect.
He said that Azad Kashmir government had adopted a policy to use technology for mining and mineral exploration, which is less harmful for the environment.
Sardar Masood Khan stressed that to address serious problems like water scarcity in future, small dams should be built on local level and big water reservoirs on the national level so that the people have abundant drinking and irrigation water.
He expressed the hope that the conference will provide guidelines to the government and the people for proper use of available resources and will put forward important recommendations for short-term, medium-term and long-term planning.
The conference was also addressed by Vice Chancellor University of Poonch Prof. Dr. Rasool Bakhsh Jan, Dean Prof. Dr Abdul Hameed and former Director (Technical) Pakistan Atomic Energy Agency (PAEC) Dr. Shafqat Farooq while more than 600 scholars from different countries including UK, Turkey and Nigeria will present their papers on crop genetics and biotechnology, soil and water resource management, food security and safety, fruit and field crop production, integrated crop production and livestock production.
Later, the AJK president inaugurated stalls of different agricultural products. On this occasion, he was given a briefing on modern agricultural technologies and the seeds of hybrid crops.