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Better yield, quality seeds can reduce import of pulses

FAISALABAD: The import of pulses worth billions of rupees may be reduced by developing quality seeds, promoting cultivation on large areas and an increase in per-acre production, suggested Dr Yusuf Zafar, Chairman of the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (Parc).

“Measures are being taken to increase pulses productivity to meet domestic needs,” Zafar said while speaking at an international conference on sustainable agriculture, arranged by the US Pakistan Centre for Advanced Studies in Agriculture and Food Security, University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF).

Pakistan produces a surplus in major crops including wheat, rice, corn and sugarcane but per-acre production is very low compared to the rest of the world.

He emphasised the need for promoting crop management technologies with joint efforts of all stakeholders such as researchers, public and private sectors, government institutions and farmers.

Pakistani farmers are facing scores of challenges such as soil degradation, changing input prices, lack of suitable agricultural machinery, imbalance in fertiliser usage and burning of crop residue. He called for improving crop management to achieve better yields.

UAF Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said by 2050, Pakistan’s population would double, which would pose a great challenge to the researchers, policymakers and other stakeholders in ensuring adequate food production amid the threat of climate change.

He pointed out that agricultural land was decreasing and being converted into residential colonies. “It is time to work jointly for turning the deserted land into productive land.”

He expressed concern that the sons of farmers did not want to work in agricultural fields, adding the Punjab government was framing a new policy to address woes of the growers and making the sector self-sufficient and profitable.

Former information minister Nisar Memon stressed the need for long-term research in the backdrop of frequent changes in the climate.

Courtesy : Express Tribune



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