Over 50 senior Pakistani government officials, university leaders, and civil society experts met today for the opening of a three-day workshop with two U.S. Government scientists on watershed planning in the Gomal Zam Dam area. This workshop supports Pakistan’s ongoing efforts to conserve and manage watersheds and water usage benefiting small shareholder farmers.
Jon Fripp, a civil engineer, and Mike Kucera, an agronomist, both from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service, facilitated the first day’s activities. Over the next two days, provincial planners, farmers and engineers will use USDA planning tools to develop a conservation plan for the Gomal Zam Dam area which can then be applied to other watersheds throughout Pakistan.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Casey Bean, Agricultural Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, stated “this workshop takes a critical next step in allowing Pakistan’s farmers to expand agricultural productivity through the preservation of soil and water by integrated planning.”
Organized by USAID, USDA, and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), this workshop is a continuation of USDA’s ongoing engagement in Pakistan. In addition to its efforts to foster stronger trade relationships between the United States and Pakistan, since 2011 USDA has been actively working in Pakistan to increase productivity in the agricultural sector.