Water, agriculture and Pakistan

Even after 70 years of independence, most of us are not satisfied by achievements Pakistan has made so far. Out of many reasons the most important one is our wrong belief in ‘might is right’ which has resulted in dividing us into groups, especially regional groups, and in layers of the poor and the rich. On the contrary, when it comes to sharing responsibilities, our behaviours are totally irresponsible. It is true that claiming is easier than performing a job.

We are still in the environment where we claim without performing; we blame without any reason, just to dominate over real deservers. Most of the time jobs are done by the subordinates and claimed by chair holders, without even appreciation to the real workers.

The practice has been very common in Pakistan which not only has spoiled the leadership ability of seniors to lead, but has created a discouraging environment for the subordinates.

Good part of Pakistan is its rich agriculture resources, even under the prevailing environment it is affording the burden of increasing food needs of growing population.

However, future of agriculture demands a lot. Looking into the on-going debate on the decline of water resource in the country from 5000 cubic meters per person to less than 1000 cubic meters per person. Thank’s God water policy finally has come out after 70 years. How can a water policy in papers address the on-ground challenges? What I have read in the water policy is nothing more than what I learned in the class rooms, conferences, and workshops on water issues in Pakistan. What we need is ACTION in right direction. What we need is to address the water issues on priority, manage our in-hand water resources precisely and efficiently, increase the storage capacity by building new water reservoirs, mini-dams, farm storages at least by rainwater harvesting and melting glacier as a resource.

There are a number of water management organisations/centres/departments/councils/universities/flood commissions/ IRSA and what not. These resourceful organisations have no resources to meet, share, and give a possible solution on short- or long-term water issues of Pakistan. To date, only the foreign consultants have been hired to make policies, who have their own objectives and agendas. Thus, there is no direction on how to solve our problems including this water crisis.

As usual, every department is free to do whatever it wants to. For example, announcement on ‘no flood irrigation in the country’ is not more than a joke. Is there anybody who should help me to grow what I have been growing without flood irrigation under the prevailing agriculture? Do we need to shift from our major crops like wheat, maize, rice, sugarcane and cotton to only vegetables and orchards suitable to drip irrigation. Do we have enough energy to operate drip irrigation in the country?