Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

From floods to desert mountains - observations of agricultural systems, crops and environment on a journey through Lower Sindh, Pakistan

From floods to desert mountains - observations of agricultural systems, crops and environment on a journey through Lower Sindh, Pakistan

Date : Thursday 6th September, 2012
Time : 3.30pm - 4.30pm
Venue : Conference Room, NSW DPI, Pine Gully Road, Wagga Wagga
Presenter : Dr Mark Norton, Research Scientist Pasture Physiology, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Charles Sturt University

AbstractA view of flooded farmland east of Mirpurkhas, Sindh, taken in late January 2012, four months after the finish of the monsoon.

This seminar recounts a journey undertaken over 2 weeks early this year through the irrigated districts of the eastern portion of lower Sindh, extending out into the Thar Desert in the extreme east of the province, a restricted area rarely visited by foreigners. The major crops and cropping systems of Sindh will be presented and some of the constraints to agricultural system sustainability described.

Few Australians are aware that in 2011, the year following the major flooding of the River Indus throughout much of Pakistan, many districts of Lower Sindh experienced their wettest monsoon rains on record leading to a second consecutive year of major flooding and the dislocation of thousands of people. Irrespective of any affect of rising global temperatures on the melting of Himalayan glaciers, these floods have strengthened the opinion that climate change seems likely to impact severely on Pakistan, a nation already facing many challenges. 

Dr Mark Norton - Professional Summary

Mark joined NSW Agriculture (now NSW DPI) in 1990 as a research agronomist and has undertaken research in pasture plant evaluation, cropping and pasture systems, pasture management and forage plant physiology. He has over 25 years research and agricultural experience in a range of countries including temperate and tropical Australia, Pakistan, France and Germany and has written extensively. Mark undertook his PhD research at the Laboratory for the Ecophysiology of Plants in Stress Environments (LEPSE) of INRA at Montpellier, France presenting his thesis at the University of Queensland. He is an authority on traits associated with drought survival in perennial grasses and is particularly interested in the application of physiology to design more drought resistant agronomic systems.

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