TANDOJAM: The Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and Sindh Agriculture University (SAU),Tandojam signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Friday to support research and exchange of technical expertise leading to sustainable development and management of land and water resources in the country.
Wapda chairman Zaffar Mahmud and SAU Vice Chancellor Dr Mujeebuddin Memon Sehrai represented their organisations to sign the agreement. The ceremony attracted growers, researchers, faculty members and students.
The purpose of this MoU is to establish a framework agreement for cooperation between the two organizations to develop and implement joint research and for exchange of technical expertise and initiatives for addressing water conservation, water logging and salinity and change of cropping patterns challenges through improved governance and efficient land, water and crop management. For the purpose, the two organizations will regularly consult on matters of common interest to define areas of collaboration.
WAPDA chairman Zaffar Mahmud speaking on the occasion said they want to encourage students of the SAU to conduct research, mostly on water and land management. He said water shortage is major issue, the country is experiencing at the face of global warming and this initiative may help stakeholders to resolve the issue.
He said Wapda has signed agreements with major universities in Punjab and Sindh provinces to exchange expertise and conduct research in water and agriculture sectors for sake of promoting national economy and find solution.
The initial duration of this MoU is established for 5 years. However, the duration may be extended beyond this period if both organizations agree in writing. In addition, this MoU may be amended if both organizations agree in writing.
SAU VC Dr Mujeebuddin Memon Sehrai expressed the hope that this deal may help coordinate creation of a ‘Pakistan Water Sustainability Network’ for capacity building of stakeholders through knowledge sharing about best practices in water resource management.
He said “it is the deficit of trust. There is mismanagement to use water sustainably and get more agriculture product.” HE said the SAU has already signed 10 MoUs quite recently out of the same 5 with international partners on various issues. He called it successful while working with local and international partners.
He said the unequal water distribution creates problems among provinces and local stakeholders. This should be managed through proper planning. He said the deal will bring together all stakeholders in Sindh province to work jointly to achieve the goal
Prof Ismail Kumbhar shared the working and achievements of the Agriculture University and said they have built trust with government and non-governmental organisations and now the SAU is accessible for all, students, researchers and NGOs. He said they have organised major events with farmers, job markets for graduates counseling.
It was clarified that during the time, both the organisations (WAPDA and SAU) will share information on events and activities of common interest, consult and agree on how joint activities should be financed, designate a principal representative from their respective side, encourage and facilitate the engagement and participation of relevant stakeholders (such as research organizations, universities, and other government organizations) in cooperative activities.
WAPDA and SAU will initiate and jointly arrange workshops and trainings related to water conservation and its judicious utilization as well as introducing High Efficiency Irrigation Systems (HEIS) and economic valuation of water use in general and Sindh Province in particular.
These organisations will contribute to the capacity building events through scholarly lectures and presentations on analysis of enduring and emerging water and crop related issues.