Dr Fateh Muhammad Marri, VC of Sindh Agriculture University (SAU) Tandojam, has said that organic agriculture is the most valuable thing in Thar after coal, he said that promoting arid agriculture in Thar will lead to modern sustainable agriculture as well as sustainable prosperity, “The production of organic vegetables, fruits, medicinal plants, and cosmetics plants in Thar has a large market in domestic and international cities.” He said this while addressing the inaugurating ceremony of the “High Efficiency irrigation system Demonstration Field” at the Umerkot sub-campus of Sindh Agriculture University.

Dr Fateh Marri said that despite the passage of more than 10 years, the agriculture sector in not transformed development and major agriculture development have not occurred. He said that 50 percent of the area of Sindh is covered by desert, mountains, and arid lands, so the practice of arid agriculture should be started in different areas including Thar, Karoonjhar, Kachho, Kohistan, Achhro Thar and Naro.

He said that the youth of Thar are talented; they will be provided with higher education facilities, while cattle farming can be restored in different areas including Naokot, Umerkot, and opportunities can be created for silent capital investment of the investors from Karachi.

Dr Jan Muhammad Marri, Pro Vice-Chancellor, SAU Sub Campus Umerkot said that the academic process will be started in the new sub-campus of the university within two months, in which new degree programs have also been started for students. Thus, the University is starting travel facilities for students from various areas including Umerkot, Samaro, Kunri, Dhoro Naro, and Bachao band.

He said that the Sindh government, civil society and benevolent people should come forward to start the work of immediate rehabilitation of agriculture in Thar through hydroponics, drip irrigation and modern technology, in this context, the university will provide the services through their experts.

Dr Marri expressed that there is a need to promote tourism in Thar, and Thar should be made green, as well as the infrastructure should be improved and prosperity will come to Thar through tourism and employment opportunities will be created.

On the occasion Additional Sessions Judge Ghulam Mustafa Maitlo, Deputy Commissioner Umerkot Muhammad Bux Dhamrah, SSP Umerkot Usman Aijaz Bajwa, Dean Crop Production Faculty Dr. Inayatullah Rajpar, Dean Dr. Aijaz Ali Khooharo, Dean Dr. Syed Ghiyasuddin Shah Rashidi, Dean Dr. Manzoor Ali Abro, Registrar Ghulam Mohiyuddin Qureshi, Dr. Bachal Bhutto, Ahmed Khan Mangi, Manzoor Ali Lakhair, Riaz Soomro, Haji Khalid Siraj Soomro and others were also present.

Sufi singer Rafiq Faqir enthralled the guests by performing his songs, earlier the Vice-Chancellor praised the sub-campus teachers and officers for providing welfare services to the flood victims in Umerkot and other areas. Certificates were distributed, while cutting the ribbon and inaugurating new buses for the students.

Related: SAU VC says ‘modern agriculture for food security is inevitable’

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Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist covering Education and Human Rights. He can be reached on Twitter @Arshadyousafzay

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