Islamabad: A two-day training workshop on Watershed Planning and Management for Gomal Zam Dam organized by United States Agency for International Development (USADI)/ United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) was held in Serena Hotel Islamabad. Mr. Muhammad Israr, Secretary Agriculture, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa inaugurated the workshop. Other guest speakers in the augural session were, Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan - Chairman PARC, Mr. Malick Haidara – Deputy Director - USAID Islamabad, Mr. Rey Santella – Agriculture Counselor USDA Islamabad, Dr. Abdul Majid – Country Manager – ICARDA Pakistan and Mr. Michael Kucera – Agronomist USDA-NRCS USA. Seventy professionals including guests from USAID, USDA office Islamabad and USA, ICARDA, FAO, CGIAR Centers, PARC and other federal and provincial institutions/universities, private sector (FFC) and farmers participated in the inaugural session of the workshop. Twenty five participants of the workshop were engineers, scientists, managers, farmers and policy makers involved directly or indirectly in the Gomal Zam Dam (GZD) project. Resource Persons are from USDA (USA), USAID Islamabad and ICARDA Pakistan. The Gomal Zam Project is located at Khajuri Kuch (South Waziristan) approximately 135 Kilometers from Dera Ismail Khan of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provice.
The workshop is focusing on current on the ground situation in the areas and various ways for watershed planning and management. During two days the participants discussed the issue/ problems faced in the catchment, watershed and command area and try to find their solutions. The participants will come up with strategies, recommendations and action plan to use water and land resources more efficiently and economically and reduce soil erosion.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan Chairman PARC, stated: that this workshop takes a critical next step in allowing Pakistan’s farmers to expand agricultural productivity through the preservation of soil and water by integrated planning and this workshop will also supports Pakistan’s ongoing efforts to conserve and manage watersheds and water usage benefiting small shareholder farmers. The Chairman further added that USDA has been actively working in Pakistan to increase productivity in the agricultural sector. Dr. Azeem also expressed that Gomal Zam Dam is a project of vital national interest and will open a new chapter of prosperity for Pakistan. Other speakers from USAID, USDA and ICARDA also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the main purpose of training workshop and contribution of their respective institutes.
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