HYDERABAD: Sindh Chamber of Agriculture (SCA) in its meeting held here on Sunday urged Sindh government to ensure an efficient drainage system in Sindh, pointing out that climate change-induced rains in future have been forecast.

SCA president Miran Mohammad Shah and general secretary Zahid Bhurgari in a statement on Sunday expressed their serious concern over delay in drainage of floodwaters from 70pc of agricultural lands which, they warned, would undermine wheat cultivation for the upcoming sowing season.

They said lower Sindh region normally cultivated wheat crop from October 15 but it would not be possible this year apparently due to floods. They feared Sindh could face shortage of grain in the upcoming season.

They called for draining of water on a war-footings basis.

The SCA leaders held some corrupt officers of the irrigation department responsible for present destruction caused by the Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD), Main Nara Valley Drain (MNVD), Dhoro Puran Outfall Drain (DPOD) as well as Jaskani and other saline water drains.

They said these drains suffered breaches and that’s why 70pc of Sindh’s farmland was submerged. They added that right from Kashmore to Thatta, boats were being seen to ferry people. They demanded an end to release of floodwaters into Rohri and Nara canals and to plug the cuts given to various dykes. They said that these canals should be fully rehabilitated.

They said that 4.5m tonnes of wheat was produced in Sindh and it seemed impossible this season. They said only 1.5m tones of wheat would be produced which would lead to food insecurity.

“Wheat flour might be available in market at Rs200 a kilo, thus drought could not be ruled out in these conditions,” they apprehended.

They expressed concern over functioning of LBOD system in lower Sindh where water flows remained unchanged as far as their drainage was concerned, affecting five districts from Nawabshah to Badin.

They called for provision of free seeds and fertilizer to growers for wheat sowing. They said that loans of farmers should be waived and insurance companies should be bound down to pay for the losses to farmers. They said that Sindh government should provide interest-free loans to growers for one year to help the affected growers.

They urged federal and Sindh governments to pay serious attention to warnings of more climate-induced rains in the country. They said these warnings were issued by the National Disaster Management Authority in the light of reports of global warming.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2022

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