One-day seminar on the importance and awareness of gram for farmers and landlords was held in the auditorium hall of Mir Chakar Khan Rind University (MCKRU) under the chairmanship of Vice Chancellor Dr Syed Mushtaq Ahmad Shah. Vice Chancellor of Sindh Agriculture University Tando Jam Dr Fateh Muhammad Marri was the chief guest of the Seminar. Farmers, landowners, political, social and tribal officials from Sibi city and its surrounding areas, along with people associated with the Department of Agriculture, participated in large numbers in the agricultural seminar. In the awareness seminar, Zulfikar Ali, Dr Ghulam Hussain Jatoi, Head of Agriculture Department, Mir Chakar Khan Rind University, Dr Wajid Farhad Laghari, Campus Director, Dera Murad Jamali University, Dr Ejaz Ahmed Soomro, Chairman, Department of Sindh Agriculture University, Tando Jam and Focal Person Sindh Project, Dr Fateh Muhammad Marri, Vice Chancellor of Sindh Agriculture University, Tando Jam, Dr Syed Mushtaq Ahmed Shah, Vice Chancellor of Mir Chakar Khan Rind University discussed in detail the importance of gram, crop preparation, protection of plants from insects and selection of medicines. Addressing the Seminar, special guest Dr Fateh Muhammad Marri said the agriculture sector was the backbone of the national economy saying that seventy per cent of the country’s population was dependent on agriculture, while two-thirds of Balochistan’s population was related to agriculture. The Australian government under the Acre Plus project has planted chickpea crops across the country and created awareness among the farmers about its importance as Pakistan and Australia has similar incrustations, he said. He said joint observations and experiments were being done on the issues of water, fertility, barren land, etc., so that both countries could solve these problems through joint research and the importance and usefulness of gram crops could be highlighted among the people. He said that Pakistan imported gram and pulses worth Rs1800 billion, cotton and wheat. If we plant chickpeas, pulses, mustard, sorghum, cotton and wheat, we don’t even have to move to the IMF to run our economy with the loan money provided by them. While Pakistan’s total land for agriculture is 79 million acres and Balochistan has 35 million acres of land and 4% of the provincial land is inhabited, he added. He further said the biggest problem in Balochistan was water, due to lack of water for cultivation, 96 per cent of our land was barren, while the delivery of water was through rain, springs, and tube wells, four years ago, a three-day workshop on water issues was organized by Mehran University in Quetta, in which concern was expressed over the rapidly falling water level in the city of Quetta. The Hanna Lake, which supplies water to Quetta, has dried up, while the water coming from other channels has been diverted to the gardens, he noted. He said the Balochistan government was making a plan to build 100 dams. VC Mir Chakar Khan Rind University Dr Syed Mushtaq Ahmed Shah said that awareness was provided to the farmers in the seminar organized under the Ekar Plus project saying that measures would be taken for the improvement of agriculture through joint efforts of the team. For all the farmers and landowners of Sibi City and its surroundings, it will not be enough to just hold a seminar, but I will first send my team for the needs assessment. Who will listen and see the problems of the farmers together with the landlords and will prepare a proposal with their feedback and suggestions and then request Dr Marri and his team and then call Sibi so that they can give scientific solutions to these problems to the people, he added. He further said the main complex of Mir Chakar Khan Rind University, which was based on two hundred and fifty acres of land, apart from the construction of necessary buildings, agricultural farm development would be done on it. Currently, work is going on a ten-acre cotton farm, gram crop will be planted on one or two acres, and the landlords, teachers and students of Sibi will continue to benefit from your suggestions and experiences, he noted. He said this awareness program would be continued, our university and our team were all PhD doctors in agriculture, and they were always ready to help you, whenever you have any problem, and ask for anything which was available for your guidance. VC Mir Chakar Khan Rind University Dr Syed Mushtaq Ahmed Shah presented the shield to Sindh Agriculture University Tando Jam and VC Tando Jam University presented the Sindhi cap and Sindhi chadar to VC Sabi University.