The citrus production, which is showing a declining trend for the last few years, can be boosted up by adopting value addition. This was stated by University of Agriculture Faisalabad Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan while talking to a delegation of Australian Sector Linkages Programme (ASLP) experts. The Aussie experts gave training at the workshop titled Citrus Nursery Management and Reworking arranged by Institute of Horticulture Sciences (IHS), University of Agriculture Faisalabad.
The Aussie trainers included Dr Nerida Donovan, and Jasor. ASLP Citrus Project Director Dr Tahir Khurshid, ACAIR Programme Development Officer Munawer Raza Raza, IHS Director Professor Dr Aslam Pervez and Professor Dr Jaffar Jaskani were also present on the occasion.
The Vice Chancellor stressed the need to introduce new varieties of the citrus in the country which have high resistant power to fight different diseases. He said citrus diseases such as greening are playing havoc with the production of the said fruit. He called for increasing the steps by giving awareness to the farmers about the promotion of seedless citrus production. He suggested reworking citrus plants to make it more compatible to the demand of the international market.
Dr Nerida stressed the need to adopt modern methods to fight with the diseases confronting the citrus sector. She said that in Australia, citrus, being cultivated on 20,000 hectare, is one of the most important horticulture exports. She also talked about managing the bio-security risk to the citrus. Jasor said reworking is the technique to make better the existing tress that help in increasing the production.
Dr Jaffar Jaskani said Pakistan is the 13th world biggest producer of citrus but high demand of seedless citrus world-wide is hampering getting full advantage from it. He said the producing of citrus in the country has been decreasing for the last couple of years. The citrus nursery management and reworking will help in increasing the production.
Dr Tahir Khurshid highlighting the importance of training programme said also such training will increase the agro-production. Munawer Raza said it is need of the hour to adopt modern practices to ensure the food security. In the workshops, nurserymen from Toba Tek Singh, Faisalabad and Patoki participated.