3m farmers to get benefit under Climate Smart Agri project: Amin

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STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD Adviser to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam Friday said around 30 lac farmers of Sindh and South Punjab would get benefit of Climate Smart Agriculture project to be implemented in 8 districts of the country. He made these remarks at the signing ceremony of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) here at the ministry. Secretary MoCC Naheed Shah Durrani and Country Representative FAO Minà Dowlatchahi signed the MoU to boost Pakistan’s efforts to enhance climate resilience of the country’s agriculture and water sectors. Amin said Pakistan had managed to get US$35 million grant money from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to implement this project and was the first project in the world to introduce climate smart agriculture. The provinces would contribute US$12 million to execute the project, he added. He said, “Pakistan is the most affected due to climate change and its agriculture sector had faced the adverse impacts of environmental degradation as change in weather patterns had disturbed the harvesting and sowing practices in the country.” The Adviser said the project would be implemented as a pilot programme in the eight districts that includes 5 districts of South Punjab and 3 districts of Sindh. Out of the total 3 million farmers 2 million would be indirect beneficiaries of the project where one million would get direct advantages of the programme, he added. “We will develop lessons from this project and the successful practices adopted to educate and train the farmers would be replicated across the country for better watering, sowing diverse crops and adopting mutli-dimensional approach in line with the developing climate change impacts in the region,” he added. Amin said the project was the solution to the crisis of farmers as per the recommendation of the country’s research on Climate Smart Agriculture that was launched at the 24th Conference of Parties in Poland. FAO officials informed that the project would be initiated simultaneously across all the designated districts. It would help benefit the country’s cotton belt as it was facing serious stress due to shift in climatic patterns. Prime Minister’s Advisor on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam and FAO’s Director General in Pakistan Qu Dongyu were present at the occasion.