Ms. Rebekah Olivia Bell visited Thar and witnessed Bio-saline Agriculture and Bio-saline Fisheries pilot projects being carried out by Thar Foundation and Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company in Thar Coal Block II and Gorano area. It was further told that Thar has great potential for Biosaline agriculture and fisheries, as 80 billion cubic meters of water with 5000-6000 TDS available at the 3rd aquifer beneath the soil, which can be pumped out to water nutritive crops for human and livestock population. She said, FAO provides technical assistance to the provincial and federal governments of Pakistan and has established its offices in Sindh to work closer in the areas of mutual interest. “Agriculture models should benefit local communities in terms of livelihood betterments and develop linkages with the private sector,” she added.
Briefing the delegation about different initiatives, Thar Foundation and SECMC CEO, Syed Abul Fazal Rizvi said the all the community development initiatives undertaken by them have been linked with UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Rizvi said, they have received successful outcomes under pilot projects of Biosaline Agriculture and fisheries in Thar Desert, which needs to be scaled up with the support of Govt of Sindh and technical expertly support from organizations like FAO. “We have planted 850,000 trees under Thar Million Tree Program and have also cultivated vegetables, fruits, moringa, multiple species of fodder like Rhodes Grass, Corn, and Jantar,” he added.
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