FAISALABAD: Climate change is the real challenge playing havoc with lives of the people, livestock and agricultural sector worldwide and tangible efforts are needed to fight it with justifying strategies and resilient agriculture system.

This was stated at a five-day workshop titled “Climate Changes, Resilient Agriculture Systems”, organised by the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) here on Monday.

Addressing the inaugural session, Malaysian High Commissioner Dato Dr Hasrul Sani Bin Mujtabar urged researchers, farming community, governments, industry and other stakeholders to join hands to mitigate the increasing impact of climate change.

“We have to put the interest of mankind first and then the national interest,” he added.

He stressed upon the need for strengthening the academia and research ties between Pakistan and Malaysia.

UAF Vice-Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad said agriculture was the area worst hit by climate change. He said Pakistan was among the lowest contributor to carbon and greenhouse impact. He said due to recent floods and other climate-related events, Pakistan, during the last half decade, had suffered losses to the tune of $20 billion.

He said the country had suffered devastating impact of increasingly erratic weather patterns, adding that the flood pattern had also changed. He said that earlier short stature and duration crops were introduced and now it was time to develop and adopt climate change resilient crops.

He was of the view that the rice crop emitted greenhouse gases. He suggested that the countries totally depending on rice as staple food needed to change their eating patterns as they were facing the highest rate of blindness due to vitamin A deficiency.

Dr Bashir Ahmad, Dr Ashafq Ahmad Chatha and others also spoke on the occasion.

Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2015