FAISALABAD: Improper use of fertilisers for crops is not only decreasing soil fertility but also causing losses worth billions of rupees to the national economy.
This was crux of views expressed at an international seminar on potassium usage in farming organised by the Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences (ISES) of the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) on Tuesday.
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UAF Vice-Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said the balanced use of fertiliser could result in increased productivity of major crops. “Almost all soils have become deficient in nutrients in Punjab,” he said, adding the university has developed several models for proper prediction of fertiliser doses.
The agriculture sector has been facing several problems, including low per acre production, water scarcity, stagnation of major crops, high post-harvest losses, lack of mechanisation and reduced soil fertility. Punjab’s agriculture policy is being revamped to uplift the sector and alleviate poverty.
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ISES Director Dr Javed Akhtar called for raising awareness among the farming community about the proper use of fertilisers to achieve food security. He added a balanced use of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilisers could give additional income of millions of rupees.
International Plant Nutrient Institute (IPNI) Consulting Director for Middle East Munir Al-Rusan said efforts should be made to conduct research work to overcome the issue of improper use of fertiliser. The IPNI has been addressing the world’s growing need for food, fuel, fibre, and feed.
Asif Ali from Engro Fertiliser said climate changes were posing a serious threat to the lives of people and food security. Balanced use of fertiliser will help address issues of the farming community and increase productivity to make the sector profitable, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2017.
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