First Symposium on Climate Change and Food Security Held
Presidential Palace hosted the first Symposium on Climate Change and Food Security where representatives from ministries of Agriculture and Livestock, Rural Rehabilitation and Development, Energy and Water and National Environmental Protection Agency, university professors, private sector, donors and international organization attended as well.
Chief Advisor to the President on Agriculture and Development Abdul Hamid Helmandi delivered the opening remarks saying that the climate change has put grave impacts on the economy, society and environment in Afghanistan.
Underscoring that climate change has resulted in challenges and threats in different areas of the country, he said water consumption has increased as now 500 millimeter of water is required to produce a wheat crop with maximum yield, comparing to 300 millimeter 30 years ago.
Mr. Helmandi added excessive amount of water is wasted through evaporation due to increase in temperature that has led to recent drought in the country.
The president’s advisor emphasized that lack of food security is one of the most important challenges and threats that climate change has caused. He added it is necessary to take the required measures such as improving the effectiveness of irrigation, land leveling, stacking up cultivation, drip irrigation, groundwater recharge and other measures of in priority plans.
He stressed on the importance of awareness programs for controlling and managing of climate change.
Mr. Helmandi said in addition to building water reserves and saving water, proper water management is another way to deal with impacts of climate change in the country calling on relevant ministries and offices to introduce modern methods of irrigation and improve effective consumption of water in agriculture and other fields.
Meanwhile, Engineer Ghulam Hakimyar, the deputy of National Environmental Protection Agency alluding to direct impacts of climate change on agriculture and its production said NEPA has taken measures to stop and mitigate climate change impacts.
He added, that capacity building at the level of sectorial ministries has been implemented and with access to international budgets for climate change, three projects are being implemented in the country.
Dr. Karim Aly Kassam, professor at the Cornell University of Canada, delivered presentations on food security and climate change.
At the end, participants divided into working groups and shared their views on climate change and food security.