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Enhancing agriculture productivity: scientists urged to develop farmer-friendly packages




  • Fertilisers worth $1400.71 million are being dumped annually in cultivated lands of Punjab province due to in-efficient use, which could be minimised through newly designed and introduced precision of fertiliser prediction models by the scientists of UAF, said speakers at a stakeholders conference on “Potential and Prospects of Data Generation for Improving the Precision of Fertiliser Prediction Models” on Saturday at old senate hall University of Agriculture (UAF) Faisalabad.

    The inaugural session was chaired by Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, VC University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF) where as Dr Anjum Ali Buttur, Director General Agricultural Extension Punjab, Dr Muhammad Arshad, Director, Institute of Soil & Environmental Sciences UAF, Dr Muhammad Rasheed, ex-director general AARI Faisalabad, Dr Shahid Mehmood, Director Soil Fertility Punjab, Nadeem Tariq, Riaz Ahmad, Dr Muhammad Tariq, Dr Abdul Majeed and Dr Khuda Bukhsh also spoke on the occasion.

    Dr Iqrar said that UAF has planned to establish state of the art forecasting and prediction mechanism through GPS via satellite in collaboration with SPARCO. He added that a soil testing laboratory equipped with modern technologies would also be opened for farming community which will also generate data regarding prediction models. Dr Khan urged the scientists to develop various farmers’ friendly packages comprising solution their problems. He maintained that UAF was striving for transforming the knowledge into goods and services.

    Dr Anjum Ali Buttur said in 2003-04 the cost of production of wheat was Rs 9,028 acre while share of fertiliser input was Rs 1,316 whereas in 2012-13 cost of production has jumped up to Rs 3,1490 acre in wheat with the fertiliser share of Rs 6,550. He said that due to inflation the prices of fertilisers’ are touching the sky. Dr Muhammad Rasheed that said that we can save Rs 208 billion by ensuring balanced fertilisers input in Punjab province every year.

    Dr Rasheed added that the soil fertility status of our soils was declining with the passage of time in general. He maintained that the Nitrogen was deficient in almost all the soils which were so alarming. Dr Rasheed said that more than 90 per cent soils had inadequate available Phosphorus level and in more than 40 per cent soils Potassium deficiency was also affecting the crop yields.

    He added that among micro-nutrients Zinc and Boron were 50 per cent soils respectively. He revealed that a project, synthesis of available fertiliser trials data for site-specific recommendations and diagnostic survey for low-adoption of fertiliser use technology would be a milestone in the field of efficient use of fertilisers and enhancing agricultural productivity.

    Dr Muhammad Arshad said that initially fertiliser prediction model was being exercised in 36 districts of Punjab province for recommendation to the farming community regarding expected production and this would be extended for other crops within short span of time. Ahsan Raza Sattar, Assistant professor, who developed this unique software conducted the conference.

    Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

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