SECMC, KU join hands to bring paradigm shift in Thar’s agriculture

Islamabad, October 28, :Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) and Halophyte Institute of Karachi University (HI-KU) have signed an agreement grow halophytic fodder on the brackish underground water in Thar Coal Block II.The contract was signed by Chief Operating Officer, SECMC Syed Abul Fazl Rizvi Director, HI-KU Prof. Dr. Bilquees Gul on behalf of their respective organizations.As per the contract, the Karachi University will grow halophytic fodder on the brackish underground water in Thar Coal Block II of Tehsil Islamkot, Tharparkar, which will be fully facilitated by SECMC.At the outset of this year, the SECMC had signed an MoU with HI-KU for a pilot project of growing fodder and a couple of weeks back they had the first harvest of it, which led to signing of the contract under discussion for furthering the growing of fodder in the area.Dr. Bilqees was of the view that they are planning to grow the fodder on an area of one acre, initially. “We will be carrying out different sets of experiments on its growth to check where and in which condition Panicum fodder grows best,” she added.She said they will undertake plantation of Panicum in the first phase of the project, followed by its ecological studies and biochemical as well as nutritive and anti-nutritive analysis in the next one.“We are actually looking at it as a complete business model in which we can produce green fodder, dry fodder, and energy ration coupled with a lively livestock industry,” she added.Both the organization are confident that the success of a pilot of Bio-saline agriculture is set to bring paradigm shift to the entire agriculture and livestock landscape of Tharparkar region and would make drought an irrelevant phenomenon.

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