FAO in Pakistan

FAO and GoS jointly Hold Strategic Planning Workshop for SWAT Project


Islamabad: In a significant collaborative effort, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in partnership with the Government of Sindh (GoS), organized a two-day strategic planning workshop. The event aimed at evaluating the progress of the Sindh Water Agriculture Transformation Project (SWAT), identifying achievements, and strategically plan activities for year 2024.
The workshop served as a platform for project partners including team leads and subject specialists from the World Bank, Sindh Irrigation & Agriculture Departments, SIDA, Directorate of Sindh Water Sector & Barrages Improvement and Sindh Barrages Improvement Project, to engage in brainstorming sessions, address bottlenecks, and draw valuable lessons from past experiences.
Dr. Robina Wahaj, Senior Land & Water Specialist FAO, highlighted the organization's longstanding and successful collaboration with the Government of Sindh. She emphasized FAO's commitment to supporting the implementation of various projects, including WSIP, SBIP, SWAT, and the formulation of crucial policies such as Sindh Agriculture Policy, and Sindh Water Policy. She assured continued support from FAO to enhance water and agriculture productivity in Sindh.
Dr. Aamer Irshad, Assistant FAO representative shed light on alarming statistics regarding the decline in agriculture productivity in Pakistan, emphasizing the need for a transformative approach. The decrease from 4% in 1960-2000 to 2% in 2011-2022 underscores the urgency for innovative methods. Dr. Aamer expressed optimism that SWAT would play a pivotal role in bridging the necessary linkages.
Francois Onimus, Senior Water Resource Management Specialist World Bank, stressing the importance of communication, asserted that it is a key factor in increasing agricultural productivity. Given the dry conditions in Sindh and farmers' concerns about waterlogged soil, proper water management is deemed essential.
Nazeer Memon, Project Coordinator at PCMU, highlights the crucial need for realistic goal setting in achieving Project Development Objectives (PDO). He emphasized the importance of setting achievable targets, underlining their pivotal role in project success. Additionally, he stressed the necessity of strong Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) processes to track progress effectively. He also called for close coordination among project departments, recognizing it as essential for overcoming challenges.
This strategic planning workshop marks a significant step towards achieving sustainable water and agriculture transformation in Sindh. The collaborative efforts between FAO and the Government of Sindh aim to address challenges, foster innovation, and pave the way for increased productivity in the region.