Pilot projects are a great means of testing actionable solutions-a step further from book bound research. Pilots are still being implemented on a global scale by larger agencies such as the Green Climate Fund's aims in providing adaptation options for low lying areas in the Nile Delta. In other ways, pilots are used to raise awareness and motivate the general public on issues of climate change and uptake of science education.
HI-AWARE's Pakistan chapter has been able to gain the attention of development professionals working in the government and non-government sectors, to raise awareness of climate change impacts in the rural districts of Rawalpindi, Pakistan. The pilot site, setup under the supervision of the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council(PARC), presents what are referred to as Climate Smart Agriculture Packages (CSAP).
Recently, a team of 60 professionals, representing various departments, visited the CSAP pilot site. The event was planned as a 5 day training program to train participants in the realities of climate change impacts.
The demonstrations were facilitated by Khalid Jamal and Ali Kamran, both with the HI-AWARE Pakistan team. Demonstrations presented on solar irrigation, drip and sprinkler systes, solar electrification, organic gardening and agriculture diversification.
During the interaction, participants were keen to know technical details such as the design of systems present at the site. An encounter with Ayub, a farmer and beneficiary of the CSAP, answered a question on the feasibility of the pilot for improving of livelihoods. Ayub commented that, "Previously I was using diesel and petrol pumps which were expensive, and it was difficult for me to afford using them for irrigation. But with the help of solar pumps and drip irrigation, I can irrigate my fields even with small amounts of water."
PARC has been able to ascertain the demand for such smart packages, seeing testmonies and evidence emerge from the field. Learnings from the site would also be used as recommendations for appropriate adaptation measures.
with inputs from Dr. Bashir Ahmad, Sultan Ishaq, Engr. M. Khalid Jamil, Engr. Ali Kamran