FAO Pakistan trains 27 PMD technical staffers
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Pakistan has trained 27 technical staff members of Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) enabling them to implement the drought mitigation activities. This training workshop on Agricultural Stress Index System (ASIS) was organised in collaboration with the PMD and its basic aim was to train the local technical staff in order to develop and promote the agriculture drought monitoring system at national as well as provincial level to avoid possible harmful impact on agriculture sector in the country.
Talking to APP on Wednesday, a FAO official said the organization had trained the technical staffers of the PMD pertaining to Islamabad, Punjab and Sindh and they were apprised about the ways and means to monitor the drought in agriculture properly. The other objective of the workshop was to enable the decision makers to implement drought mitigation activities in agriculture sector on time to safe different crops, fruit orchids and vegetable farms from the harmful impact of any possible change in natural climate, he added. In this regard, he said, the FAO had developed a tool which was called ASIS for helping the countries to strengthen their agricultural drought monitoring and early-warning systems.
The ASIS, he said, was aiming at simulating the analysis that would be performed by a remote sensing expert and simplify the results in the form of maps for endusers, he added.
He said agriculture in Pakistan was most affected by natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, droughts, landslides. The FAO was also building capacity of key stakeholders on use of its global ASIS to detect areas with a high likelihood of prolonged dry periods and drought.
Drought monitoring was continued and FAO provided satellite data in every ten days, which was an ideal time-frame for monitoring annual crops because it took account of the water contributed by groundwater reserves, he added.
He informed that the final results were summarized in easy-to-interpret maps enabling decision-makers to implement drought mitigation activities in agriculture timely. Those results were also useful for guiding public investments such as water harvesting, irrigation and water reserves, he added.