Rice Cultivation on beds- Save water

Pakistan has favorable climate and fertile soils for the cultivation of rice. However, water is limiting factors. Moreover, the existing irrigation practice for growing rice are wasteful. A huge quantity of water is lost during land precipitation and crop establishment which leads to excessive evaporation and deep percolation. It is observed that farmers generally apply more water to rice field for control of weed germination than what is needed for meeting the crop water requirement.

Rice is one of the major staple food crops in Pakistan. About 13% of the cropped area of the country is used for rice production. An average yield of rice in the country is the 2.95 ton/ hector, which is much lower as compared to 7.40t/ha for the USA and 6.19 t/ha for China. On average, the world rice fields uses about 1.4 m3 of water for producing 1 kg rice with a water use efficiency (WUE) OF 0.71 KG/M3 whereas in Pakistan it is less than 0.45 kg/m3.

A major reason for this WUE is the conventional flood irrigation practice i.e. growing rice under submerged conditions.  In the backdrop of increasing water scarcity, the farmers, researchers, and scientists are looking for new methods and techniques to improve rice yield and its water use efficiency. Planting of rice on beds is one the practices which can potentially improve rice yield and it’s WUE.

Pakistan council of research in water resources (PRWR) conducted series of experiments for growing rice on beds and conventional planting during 2011-2013 at its R&D center near Sargodha Punjab. Each treatment was replicated thrice. Under conventional method, on an average 144 cm of water was applied whereas water applied to bed fields was 112 cm. The amount of water applied under the bed and furrows was therefore, 23 % less than that for flooded basins. Average yield of rice grown on beds was 4156 kg/ ha whereas it was 3921 kg/ ha in flooded basins. The average WUE of rice grown on beds was 0.37 kg/m3. Whereas it was 0.27 kg/m3 under conventional practices. The average net income from the rice planted on beds was Rs. 129328/ha, whereas it was Rs. 115260/ha for the flooded basins. Therefore planting rice on beds has high potential for saving water without compromising the yield.

So like any other crops, rice has its specific water requirement and does not essentially need submerged conditions. Rice can be successfully grown on beds without compromising the yield with a water saving of over 23 %. Therefore there is need to demonstrate this technology to the farmers for its large scale adoption.


Municipal solid waste is generally a type of waste consisting of everyday items discarded by the public excluding agricultural waste, industrial waste, medicinal waste etc. MSW is known by different names in different regions e.g. in the United States it is known as “TRASH” and “GARBAGE” while known as “REFUSE” and “RUBBISH” in Great Britain.

Lahore is 2nd largest metropolitan of Pakistan, the provincial capital of Punjab with more than 11 million individuals over an area of 1772 km2. About 5000-6000 tons of waste is produced daily in Lahore and only 60-65% is collected, and reaming 35-40% is left unhandled.

Characterization of MSW is the first step towards integrated waste management. It helps by giving information about which type of waste is being discarded and in which proportion and It also helps policymakers to design newer and effective policies for better waste management. In waste characterization Generation Rate, Composition, Density, Moisture content, Loss of mass on ignition and Calorific value are mainly focused.

Composition of MSW changes from municipality to municipality and time to time. Globally, MSW contains 38.1% paper, 13.4%-yard waste, 10.4% plastics, 9.4% food waste, 7.7% metals, 5.9% wood, 5.2% glass and 9.9% other materials.In Lahore MSW contains 72.76% biodegradable waste, 5.58% nylon, 5.35% diapers, 4.71% textile, 3.83% combustible material, 3.42% non-combustible material, 2.34% paper & cardboard, 0.77% tetra packs, 0.45% plastics, 0.43% glass, 0.18% hazardous waste, 0.08% pet, 0.05% electronic waste and 0.04% metals.

Social and economic factors also influence the composition because of difference in lifestyle, waste production etc. Low-income areas mainly contain a higher proportion of biodegradable waste while higher income area contains a higher proportion of biodegradable waste, diapers, pet, packaging material etc.

In order to properly manage MSW, all stockholders must perform their duties in an effective manner. We must change our lifestyle. We must adopt 3R’s as best solution for effective management of MSW. We must use reusable bags instead of using single use plastic bags. We must avoid individually wrapped items at the store and promote recyclable materials. We must consider composting scraps and food waste rather than throwing it away. Zero waste policy is an effective approach to tackle solid waste problems and it must be implemented in educational institutions, industries, government and private office. Government and other institutions associated with waste management e.g. LWMC, Albayrak, Ozpak etc. must improve their strategy of waste collection by increasing institutional capacity, joining hands with NGO’s working on the ground, this will help is increasing ratio of collected waste. The government must focus on providing plastic bags for effective waste collection. Multimedia (electronic and press) ads and training seminars are effective approached to indulge targeted audience to aware people regarding proper waste management.

Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture and Mitigation Strategies

Climate change is manifested in a range of short-term weather events and long-term climatic trends that are deeply affecting agricultural systems, especially the rain-fed and subsistence ones. The most common changes being witnessed are unreliable rainfall periods (delayed commencement or early cessation of rains), erratic rains, leading to extended dry spells punctuated by intermittent rainfall events,  heavier-than-usual rainfall events and above-average air and soil temperatures.

Crops are dependent on temperature, light, moisture and COto produce grains and other crop products to satisfy the basic human needs. Climate change is very likely to affect food security at the global, regional, and local level. Climate change can disrupt food availability, reduce access to food, and affect food quality. Increases in temperature, changes in precipitation patterns, changes in extreme weather events, and reductions in water availability may all result in reduced agricultural productivity.

Higher CO2 levels can affect crop yields. Some laboratory experiments suggest that elevated CO2 levels can increase plant growth.  Though rising CO2 can stimulate plant growth, it also reduces the nutritional value of most food crops. More temperature both high and low and precipitation can prevent crops from growing. Extreme events, especially floods and droughts, can harm crops and reduce yields. These are a source of rising concentration of greenhouse gases which in turn are the major reasons of global warming and other changes in climate The climate change is characterized by rising temperature, erratic and lower rainfall declined  frequency  but  with  greater intensity,  changing  seasons,  and  occurrence of  extreme  events floods  and  droughts.

Resource poor farmers are greatly affected by these changes that result in lower or failed agricultural production, higher incidence of pests and diseases, and an overall reduction in the efficiency and productivity of farming systems. There is an urgent need to adapt traditional agricultural systems to these changes in order to make them more resilient to climatic shocks and stresses. Broader actions are also needed to mitigate climate change itself in other words to actually reduce the magnitude or rate of climate change.

Climate Smart Agriculture may be a viable mitigation tool that includes both new and old agricultural practices that are considered effective in helping farmers adapt to climate change and among some groups to mitigate climate change.  Apart from this  varieties which  are  tolerant  to  high  temperature  and  drought   should  be developed  so  that  losses  could  be avoided.  The  temperature  component may  shorten  the  growth  periods; therefore  the  cultivating time  should be  adjusted  accordingly.