May 112017

The sugar industry is the second largest agro-based industry in the country. According to some media reports, the Federal Committee on Agriculture in its meeting held on April 21, 2017 has set the summer major crops’ targets including rice, sugarcane, maize and minor produces. A target of 68.517 million tonnes has been fixed for sugarcane during the 2017-18 season. However, this target is unlikely to be achieved as a water crisis is likely in the making. The sugarcane production is at risk as the country would not have enough water for irrigation during the Kharif season because of a deficient monsoon. It is pertinent to note that the country had received above-average snowfall this year and the water from the thawing snow would help feed the canals. Melting snow in the northern areas will improve the flow of the rivers.

In view of the above and keeping in view that climate change will continue to be a major challenge, the country needs to be prepared for vulnerable situation, as there is always a long span of dry weather. Policymakers should, therefore, work on water shed management and construction of big water reservoirs so as to cope with harsh climate impact on the country and food security.

Khan Faraz


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