Pakistan and the United States have decided that the US Department of Agriculture will launch Fertiliser Right programme this year in Pakistan, a four-year, $4.5 million project with local partners to help farmers use fertiliser more efficiently and effectively, reducing environmental pollution and lowering cost.
The understanding was reached in meetings of the US-Pakistan Climate and Environment Working Group, according to a statement issued on Thursday.
The two sides agreed that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) would launch a new, five-year Climate Smart Agriculture programme in Pakistan to strengthen the resilience of farming communities facing climate change.
The activity will facilitate climate-smart farm management practices, increase the use of digital technology and help grow agricultural technology firms. USAID will also launch Climate Finance Development Accelerator programme this year, which will help mobilise domestic and international finance for expanding clean energy in Pakistan. It will catalyse investment for climate mitigation and adaptation efforts through policy reforms, awareness raising and enhancing the role of private sector.
During the working group dialogue, Pakistani and US officials reached consensus that a roundtable would be organised in Karachi on the future of green shipping. Experts in the conference will identify opportunities of strengthening Pakistan’s economic competitiveness by preparing for zero emissions in shipping operations at ports.
“USAID’s efforts have so far helped Pakistan prevent 55 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions since 2017, helping the country achieve its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030,” the statement said.
It was pointed out that the US was funding a feasibility study to improve waste management practices in Karachi using advanced technology to convert cattle waste into biomethane and fertiliser. Officials of the two sides agreed that the US Army Corps of Engineers would immediately begin sharing snowpack assessments with several Pakistani government agencies to strengthen flood forecasting capacity. These assessments use satellite imagery and algorithms to examine snow-covered areas and snowpack water volumes in five major watersheds – Upper Indus, Kabul, Chenab, Sutlej and Lower Indus. To help advance methane emissions reduction and energy security goals, a Pakistani delegation will travel to the US and join oil, gas and other sector leaders from emerging economies, who will meet with US industry, financial institutions and policy experts.
USAID will partner with the private sector on reducing methane emissions in Pakistan’s dairy sector. The project will promote new interventions such as changes in animal feed, reproductive health and manure management.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2023.
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