Sustainable farming: UAF aims to revolutionise agriculture with innovation

Published: January 7, 2017

FAISALABAD: The University of Agriculture Faisalabad claimed to have developed 101 innovations, which the varsity said, would revolutionise the economy and make the agriculture sector sustainable.

University of Agriculture Vice Chancellor, Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan revealed this while talking to the media persons here on Friday. He said that the new innovations would make the agriculture sector profitable and help open new business avenues for rural development and prosperity.

The catalogue has been developed by the Research, Innovation, and Commercialisation department. “This catalogue summarises as many as 101 entries (technologies) that have an enormous commercialisation value,” the VC said.

“There are new varieties of cotton and mustard with competitive advantage of determinate growth and potential for mechanical harvesting,” he elaborated. “Three new hybrids of maize with high pro-vitamin A contents are ready for release to the market. Transgenic sugarcane is in the testing process. Ten new mango selections are being promoted. Two new breeds of backyard poultry have also been developed.”

He claimed that “a large number of mechanical and agricultural engineering innovations” have been made available for industrial manufacturing.

“There are several soil amendments and databases created to improve soils and enhance fertilizer use,” Dr Iqrar said.

The plant and animal pests and diseases are being addressed through environmentally safe interventions. Water and energy solutions have been developed for easy adoptions with a focus on renewable options.”

He said that special emphasis has been give on reducing post-harvest losses and value addition to capture markets within and outside Pakistan. New flour blending and fortification technologies were made available to address the malnutrition in children and women.

Dr Iqrar claimed that the experts of the UAF have developed technique for utilisation of rice industrial wastes for oil extraction and value addition to several products.

He said that these techniques would be used in exploring the role of edible coatings to improve the quality and shelf life of whole and minimally processed fruits, fortified wheat flour, value added bakery products, multigrain bread, development of flavoured chapattis supplemented with barley, and for other value added products.

“With the help of new technology, the country can fetch huge foreign exchange by export of the agro-based products besides substantial contribution in the national economy and enhancing the profitability of the growers,” VC added.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 7th, 2017.

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