HYDERABAD: The World Wide Fund (WWF) and Sindh Agriculture University (SAU) will jointly carry out research on green business projects with reference to climate change, tree planting, better cotton production, and organic farming, with the two organizations agreeing to cooperate and coordinate on project activities in the province.
Tahir Rasheed, regional head, and Altaf Shaikh, program coordinator of WWF Pakistan, visited Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam, and discussed various issues at a meeting with Vice-Chancellor Dr. Fateh Marri and heads of academic and administrative departments of the university.
They also described the WWF plans regarding climate change, tree plantation, better cotton initiatives, integrated organic farming, and future collaboration for action research and development to synergize the project activities in Sindh.
Prof Dr. Fateh Marri, SAU Vice-Chancellor, highlighted the research priorities areas in Agricultural Education Extension, indigo conservation, rangeland and wetland management, and opportunities for investment for green loans to develop industry-academia linkages.
He added that the joint venture research project and fundraising proposals will attract the global market for agricultural development in Sindh Pakistan Dr. Marri suggested that salt and drought-tolerant varieties of fruit trees may be given focus to cope with waterlogging and salinity challenges.
He added that the Covid-19 pandemic is the result of human intervention with nature; we have to educate student cadre and communities to protect nature to avoid problems, like Covid-19, which has shaken the world.
Tahir Rasheed, Regional Head appreciated the efforts of the Vice-Chancellor and said that WWF focuses on environment conservation, forest, wildlife, alternative energy, oceans and we are focusing on green business and joint venture projects with universities for action research and ultimately this would be helpful for economic goods through commercialization.
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He added that we are supporting the business model through green loans and SAU faculty, researchers and students will be involved in joint research programs.
He further added that WWF will also support SAU for nursery development and WWF will also plant trees in various locations at the University and its sub-campus and colleges at Umerkot, Dokri, and Khairpur respectively.
He further said that WWF will sign the MoU with SAU Tandojam for land development, tree plantation, and technical support. Simultaneously the SAU faculty and students will be involved in research and internship programs.
Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ismail Kumbhar, Director University Advancement, and Financial Assistance added that SAU and WWF can work together through a green climate fund for organic products to alleviate poverty and reduce malnutrition. He further added that local species of plants and trees may be promoted and farmers’ capacity may be built to adopt indigenous trees at their farms.
Prof. Dr. Inayatullah Rajper, Chairman Department of Soil Sciences, said that bio-saline agriculture should focus to improve the coastal land and he added that the department of soil sciences has developed salt-tolerant trees and focused on land resource management and adaption of bio-saline agriculture at the grass-root level.
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He further added that the department has also been involved in utilizing banana waste in fiber, pulp, compost, and liquid fertilizer, and the students are involved in their research activities at the field level for the preparation of the bio-fertilizer.
Altaf Shaikh, Coordinator, WWF Pakistan talked that WWF is creating awareness among the communities regarding sustainable natural resource management. He further said that the joint venture programs through research priorities areas in Agricultural Education would be helpful for the quality and monitoring of programs and training of the farming community.