Agriculture: specialists for adopting handled wastewater tech – Pakistan


FAISALABAD: Experts at international moot at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad called for adopting treated wastewater technology in agriculture to combat drought and irrigation water scarcity, a practice that is gaining momentum in many parts of the world due to increasing water scarcity and need to enhance food production.

They addressed an international seminar on “Agroecological and social interventions of reused water irrigation in a gastroenteritis context” jointly organized by the Department of Agronomy and Department of Rural Sociology, University of Agriculture Faisalabad. The inaugural session was presided over by UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan.

The discussions and presentations covered a range of topics, including the benefits and risks of reused water irrigation, the latest technologies and best practices for treatment and management, and the social and economic impacts on local communities with pathogen and heavy metals which may lead to gastroenteritis.

UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that at the time of the inception of the country, the per capita water availability has gone down from 5000 cubic meter per annum to 900 cubic meter, placing the country in the list of water scarce countries. He said we have to rationalize the use of every drop of water for the generations to come. Excessive ground water abstraction by pumps is resulting in lowering down groundwater coupled with deteriorating quality. He said that the adaptation of treated wastewater is an alternative way in agriculture. Interventions like Biochar have proven very successful.

Foreign delegation Prof Dr Lyla Mehta from Institute of development studies, UK, Dr Ruben Sakrabani Associate Professor from Cranfield University, UK, Prof Elizabeth Wellington from Warwick University, UK and Prof Christopher Quince while sharing their experiences from different regions, said cross-cultural exchange of knowledge and ideas were invaluable, as it helped to broaden perspectives and deepen understanding of the complex issues resulting in gastroenteritis by cultivating with reused water.

Chairman, Department of Rural sociology, UAF Dr Izhar Ahmad Khan stressed upon the need to create awareness among the people about water saving.

Department of Agronomy Chairman Dr Abdul Khaliq said that they were making all possible research and outreach efforts for increasing the per acre productively by effectively utilizing available natural resources and developing targeted interventions like biochar deployment with multiple benefits.

UAF Associate Professor of Agronomy / UKRI project’s Principal Investigator Dr Fahd Rasul said that the promotion of biochar would help fight the challenge of soil, water and climate.

Prof Dr Syed Aftab Wajid, Dr Hassan Munir Bajwa (Co Organizer), Dr Sardar Alam, Dr Shahbaz, Dr Aziz ur Rehman and Dr Ghulam Mustafa and other honourable speakers elaborated their work.

The delegation visited field trials on vegetables that were grown with Canal, Treated waste water by biochar and directly by wastewater to compare the effect and uptake of heavy metals and pathogens that can cause gastroenteritis. On the occasion, the website of Project WWW.GASTROPAK.PK was launched and a “National center of Biochar” research was inaugurated at UAF.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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