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IFAD, China back climate-resilient agriculture in Pakistan

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Islamabad, Dec 17 (IANS/AKI) Climate-resilient and sustainable reforestation practices to boost Pakistan’s national development was the focus of a one-day seminar organised here on Tuesday by the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development and the governments of China and Pakistan, IFAD said in a statement.

“This year has brought extreme weather to every corner of the world. Our best chance of adapting to these rapidly changing conditions is through investing in smallholder farmers, while equipping them with the skills and resources needed to minimise the impact of agriculture on the environment,” said Hubert Boirard, IFAD Country Director for Pakistan.

In Pakistan, high levels of agricultural production continuously increasing population are placing heavy demands on Pakistan’s water resources, the statement noted. And a lack of rain and other climate-related trends have taken their toll on the agriculture sector, the IFAD statement said.

At the seminar, development experts from IFAD, China and Pakistan shared innovative solutions, experiences and knowledge on how to develop resilient and high-value cropping systems, proven technical solutions to combat desertification, and other related technologies that can be applied in the local context, the statement said.

IFAD representatives shared their experience in developing strategies and policies that aid sustainable rural poverty reduction and support smallholder farmers in rural communities to mitigate the effects of climate change.

China shared expertise in climate-resilient agriculture and reforestation and afforestation techniques, and also its interest in promoting knowledge-sharing through cooperation between developing countries, especially the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and collaboration with Pakistan on the massive Belt and Road infrastructure project.

“There are lessons to be learnt from China’s technological advancement for smallholder farmers. Pakistan is interested in adopting agricultural technologies that will enable them to farm sustainably,” said Sher Ali Arbab, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC and a member of Pakistan’s National Assembly.

IFAD has since 1979 implemented 27 projects in Pakistan at a total cost of $2.8 billion, which have benefited more than 17 million people.



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