Agro-ecological zoning in Punjab and Sindh
In 1980, Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) conducted the very first study on agro-ecological zones of Pakistan where the country was divided into ten agro-ecological zones based on physiography, climate, land use and water availability.
The baseline study for BDRP indicated that Agro-ecological zones of Pakistan are too broad for provincial & district-level planning. Although many DRR & CCA mitigation measures piloted in Pakistan but not assessed & catalogued by agro-ecological zone, hazard zone, sector, etc. Some work has already done by NARC on this subject which will also be considered to redefine and refinement of this assignment.
AEZ under BDRP:
In early 2017, Government of Punjab formulated a committee to review and establish more refined AEZs in Punjab. The committee consisted of senior representatives from line departments and academia. As of Aug 2017, the committee collected primary data on soil samples (280,000 locations) and water maps along with crop yield data from various regions of the province. The committee initially looked into the options of establishing zones based on crops or based on ETo. However, in case of Sindh, no such effort existed.
Eventually, the committee requested FAO to provide technical support to AEZ formation team by reviewing their methodology and products. It was agreed that FAO will get services of relevant international consultant of wider global experience on the subject.
Ms. Ece Aksoy came to Pakistan to support the AEZ formation technical team in this regard. A series of capacity building workshops were conducted with the technical team around the following agenda:
- Review of AEZ formation methodologies adopted by the y technical team
- Sharing of global best practices on AEZ formulation and FAO’s approach to AEZ
- Review of data sets (spatial and non spatial)
- Development of & agreement on the final methodological framework
- Enlisting the additional data sets and their sources
- Creation of a common shared workspace to share all datasets and resources
- Training of team on Global-AEZ Modules 1-5.
- Planning on future steps
In case of Punjab, the process of AEZ formation is in well advanced stage. After advanced training from FAO, AEZ team has completed the necessary modelling and created the improved zones. Work has started on the final reporting of AEZ-Punjab. An initial draft has been completed and shared with the Secretary Agriculture. Parallel to that, work has started on the listing of bi-products which will be generated from the AEZ process to bridge the gap between policy makers and farmers.
The draft version of reports has been developed and now under review by technical teams.