Varsity offers solutions for farmers

Experts say most growers employ traditional methods of farming

APP October 02, 2022


Promotion of agriculture research in the Koh-e-Suleman area can help in sustaining farming by countering impacts of climate change.

The recent spell of heavy rains not only damaged housing infrastructure, but it also adversely affected the crops spread over an area of 600,000 acres in Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur.

According to agriculture experts, most of the farmers on the hill torrents are employing traditional methods of farming which are beyond the production potential.

Climate Change is a serious challenge which poses a real threat to the country's farming.

A team of agriculture experts from the Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture, led by Assistant Professor Dr Khurram Mubeen, is conducting research activities in hill torrents for the last four years.

The team noted that the local people were following traditional style of farming. The majority of the farmers were using old seed varieties which was curtailing the volume of production, said Dr Khurram Mubeen.

Dr Mubeen suggested a number of measures to improve farming in the area to improve productivity. There are two types of soil in the hill torrent, hard soil and sandy soil. He proposed deep ploughing on hard soil as it would help save crops from excessive water in case of heavy rains.

It will also improve soil fertility and ground water level, which is essential to promote agriculture in the region. Use of chisel plough was good for hard soil, he hinted. There is also an impression that deep ploughing can cause soil erosion. He, however, rejected this impression and stated that such a field should not be irrigated directly but through secondary sources.

Secondly, there should be an early warning system to impart timely information to farmers and other residents about sudden climatic change as heavy rain. The liaison among people of different areas in hill torrent was also essential in this regard, Dr Mubeen said.

The farmers should do cross-ploughing. A number of crops are being sown in the area. However, there is immense potential for pulses. The government should also construct ponds to save water for agriculture purposes, added Dr Mubeen. He advised the farmers to grow new varieties as it would help improve production remarkably.

Talking about the working of the Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture, Dr Mubeen said that agriculture experts of the varsity were working in hill torrents for the last four years. He claimed that production nearly 15 percent production improved on the research plots.

He also referred to the new soil layers which were two-to-three-foot deep due to the recent floods. It would also be a challenging situation.

He called for enhanced research activities in the hill torrent to enhance agriculture production and strengthen the farmers economically.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 2nd, 2022.


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