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.

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