Nestlé Pakistan and the National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) pledged to continue their role as water stewards in a panel discussion to commemorate World Water Week 2022. The discussion focused on the need to use technology-based irrigation techniques to conserve water and increase yield simultaneously along the lines of this year’s theme ‘Seeing the Unseen: The Value of Water’.
In his opening remarks, Air Vice Marshal Dr Rizwan Riaz, Pro Rector RIC-NUST stressed for integration and indigenization of technology, highlighting that there was a need to work on practices that are suitable for Pakistan specific agriculture issues. “Industry-academia linkages for addressing the issues that could improve agricultural productivity are the need of the hour,” he said.
Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), emphasized putting water at the core of action plans and policy. He said, “There is an urgent need for communities, companies and governments to come up with innovative solutions to secure water that can help maintain the balance between people and nature.”
Florence Rolle, Country Representative, UN Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) also focused on the development and implementation of agricultural technology related policies to improve the productive efficiency of the farmers in Pakistan. “Developing a resource governance mechanism could help judicious use of the scarce resources such as water and land,” she said during the discussion.
Aatekah Mir-Khan, Senior Manager Public Affairs and Sustainability, Nestlé Pakistan while emphasizing Nestlé’s flagship Caring for Water-Pakistan (C4W-Pakistan) initiative said, “As a responsible company, we have committed to regenerate the water cycle to create a positive water impact everywhere our waters business operates by 2025 through our Water Pledge.”
She further said, “C4W-Pakistan is a blueprint for gauging collective action and has three pillars: factories, communities, and agriculture. Since more than 90% of Pakistan’s water resources are used in agriculture, we assist farmers shift to drip irrigation and smart soil moisture sensors to reduce water wastage. Our internal evaluations suggest that by 2021, we will regenerate equivalent to 49% of the water volume used by our water business.”
Other notable speakers, including NUST’s Dr Hussnain Janjua, environmental journalist Zofeen Ebrahim and NUST’s Ali Hasnain Sayed, all reiterated the urgency of collective action and water stewardship to increase the capacity of other sectors and businesses. Organized between 23rd August and 1st September, World Water Week highlights the global water challenges and explores new ways of managing water and focuses on the ways we value water.