FAISALABAD: In its efforts to maximise food security, the Government of Punjab has devised a plan to significantly enhance wheat yield by imparting training to the farmers.
The two-tier plan promises 40% increase in per acre yield, according to the Punjab Agriculture Department (PAD). The plan included timely wheat cultivation on the vacant land from the crops of maize and vegetable crops.
According to PAD, the ideal time for wheat sowing commences from November 1. “The farmers will also be educated about the best available varieties of seed as the low quality seed, lack of awareness about modern technology was affecting productivity,” said PAD District Officer Faisalabad Chaudhry Hameed.
At present, the province had geared up to guide farmers on wheat crop, production technology, recommended varieties of wheat, pesticides treatment, requirement of fertilisers and irrigation methods, he added.
The first sowing phase of wheat cultivation will start from November 1 to 15, during which the PAD teams will start working with farmers, and only then the agricultural community may be able to avoid the problems that were certain to hit the crop.
The next phase will start from November 16 to December 31, during which these teams along with agriculture experts will visit fields to educate farmers about the use of pesticides and fertilisers to enhance yield averages, he added.
PAD Department of Agriculture Extension will supervise the teams during the performance of their operational duties, Hameed added.
“Timely sowing is an important factor. This experience will help in good seed germination, and ultimately improve yield productivity,” said the agricultural experts while talking to The Express Tribune.
Some agriculture experts believed that the changing weather pattern allowed delays in sowing.
The declining per acre yield demands urgent government attention, said Arshad Mahmood, an agriculturist. He added that sowing the crop early carried more benefits like better yields, but because of the late sugarcane crop this season the wheat crop will suffer and so will the yield.
During the second phase of the wheat sowing season, sugarcane crushing will commence and then farmers will be able to sow wheat. “If we speak technically, 60% of sowing will now be falling in the late sowing category and suffer reduction in yield,” Mahmood added.
The growers also demanded the government of smooth supply of fertilisers and pesticides with cheaper price.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2012.