Swiss agency to support climatic change research in KP

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PESHAWAR: The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation will support research on climatic change and its impact on farming community to improve agricultural productivity in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

This was stated by country director of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation Stephanie Burri, after formally inaugurating the Climate Change Centre at the University of Agriculture Peshawar here on Tuesday.

The centre was established in 2014 with the support of the Swiss government to extend technical assistance to framers and carry out research in local context to ascertain the impact of climate on agricultural yield and take measures to cope with challenges.


Climate change centre formally inaugurated at agriculture varsity


Ms. Burri said she was pleased to know that the university’s faculty was finding adaptation solutions to climate changes and had been playing role in developing farming.

Appreciative of university’s effort to achieve progress within a short span of time and exploring solutions for poor farmers, she said SDC wanted extension of cooperation in the area of climatic research.

The SDC country director said there were strong potential for Pak-Swiss linkages at the level of universities to enable the local population for climate change adaptation.

Vice-chancellor of the university Prof Zahoor Ahmad Swati appreciated the Swiss funding and technical support for the centre and said varsity took keen interest in the work regarding the effects of climate change and were eager to undertake expensive research for benefit of farmers. He said those changes were affecting crops, farming systems as well as farmers’ livelihoods.

“Farmers need proper advice based on sound research on how to deal with the impact of climate change on crops and therefore, we’ve established this centre,” he said.

Climate Change Centre director Dr. Jawad Ali, who was also in attendance, said the centre had conducted the much-needed research on climatic environments with the SDC support, which also funded the Livelihoods Programme Hindukush with the Swiss Intercooperation.

He said the studies conducted by the centre so far were about tolerance to heat and water stress in a number of wheat and maize varieties, and climate change and its impact on farming systems based on farmers’ knowledge and climate scenario for the next few decades for several districts.

Dr. Jawad said the centre was supporting several PhD studies on climate change to train young scientists on global warming and related issues and had established vital linkages with national and international research institutions.

On the occasion, Swiss Intercooperation country director Dr. Arjumand Nizami said the purpose of setting up the centre was to fill an institutional gap within the public sector to address the issue of climate change adaptation in a systematic manner.

Expert Dr. Mohammad Afzal said KP was highly vulnerable to climate changes due to fragile ecologies in diverse agro-ecological landscape.

He said the widespread poverty, changes in temperatures, and uncertain hydrological patterns had threatened the people’s access to water and food.

 

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