Agricultural Extension And Communication Section

The main objectives of Agricultural Extension and Communication Section are; Dissemination of AZRC-generated technologies by using different traditional and innovative methods including holding farmers days, publishing pamphlets, using video documentaries and electronic media etc.

The main objectives of Agricultural Extension and Communication Section are; Dissemination of AZRC-generated technologies by using different traditional and innovative methods including holding farmers days, publishing pamphlets, using video documentaries and electronic media etc.



PARL Model activities.

Pilot areas in Dasht, Kanak and Kovak valleys were selected to start transfer technology activities under the PARC’s PARL Model scheme. Under the Model, tested technologies are being extended to the farmers through cooperatives or farmers associations. This model is being run by the Regional Research office in Balochistan in close collaboration with the AZRC, provincial agricultural research institutes and NO’s including international projects like FAO/UNDP. AZRC developed technologies on dryland agriculture were disseminated in these valleys of highland Balochistan with farmers participation:

A Rapid Rural Appraisal of the pilot areas was conducted by multi-disciplinary team comprising AZRC, AERU,RRO and ARI staff to identify the main problems and suggest possible interventions. About 70 acres of land in various villages of Dasht valley was planted with improved crop varieties of AZRC and ARI adopting improved agricultural practices like seed drill, fertilizer and seed dressing etc. Five Farmer associations were formulated in these pilot areas to coordinate and implement the latest interventions for increasing agriculture production. A package of health cover for the small ruminants developed by AZRC was inducted in these areas by holding veterinary camps. Strategic supplementation was demonstrated to the farmers to increase the livestock production in the area. Spray program on the orchards of different fruit crops was also organized with the cooperation of FAO/UNDP Fruit development project and Agricultural extension departments. Moreover, forage reserve blocks of fourwing saltbush were also established by the cooperative farmers.


Household agricultural production systems

A study on household agricultural production system was carried out in five representative locations of four districts in Balochistan. These districts includes; Khuzdar, Kalat, Quetta and Loralai.  A sample of two hundred households, 40 households from each location were interviewed. The major objective was to know the rural household related agricultural activities. The study results were compiled in tabulation form.


Women household agricultural production systems

This survey was carried out in three districts comprising Khuzdar, Quetta and Loralai interviewing seventy-two women households. The objective of this study was to provide descriptive and diagnostic baseline information, which would be used to assess and monitor the effects that agricultural interventions may have on gender roles. The specific objectives were to 1) identify the specific areas of the farming systems where rural women participate in, and 2) define the relevant socio-cultural factors which limit women’s participation in the farming system and to control of household resources and income.


Women’s participation in the rainfed farming systems of Balochistan


The results show that women’s participation in the rainfed farming systems of Balochistan extends to all aspects of agricultural and livestock production in addition to which may contribute to supplementary income through home based income generating activities. In spite of this critical role, the results revealed that the respondents have little independent access to productive resources and by and large excluded from decision-making processes affecting the household. This is the result of specific socio-cultural, economic and religious factors, which must be understood and taken into account in the design of interventions.


Agricultural and related statistics of upland Balochistan. (1988)

Secondary data and information gathering is part of the descriptive and diagnostic studies. This report contains data on only upland districts of Balochistan regarding land utilization, crop distribution, tenure, cropped area and yield on district basis, agricultural inputs mechanization, livestock, forestry, credit, wholesale crop market prices etc.  Upland Balochistan encompasses the districts of Kachhi, Khuzdar, Kalat, Loralai, Pishin, Quetta and Zhob. Tables on upland Balochistan and total Balochistan are given for comparison. Yearly basis data is normally available in the agricultural statistics, ten years data were made available in this report. The information was collected from various departments and compiled in into a single report for the benefit of AZRC scientists and others.

Growth rate for hectarage, production and yield of various crops have been calculated by applying regression the log of either hectarage, production or yield on time( Log Y= a + bx time, where b x100= the growth rate).


Farmer-managed trials in the kovak valley, Balochistan

Wheat is the most important crop grown in upland Balochistan as it serves dual purpose, grain for human and straw for their animals. In seven years out of ten, dry land farmers in upland Balochistan do not receive sufficient rainfall from the summer monsoon for autumn wheat, yet they have only one variety for both spring and autumn sowing.


Farmer-managed field trials examining the effect of fertilizer and a new wheat variety with twenty farmers in Kovak valley were experimented in 1987. The trial consisted of four treatments with one replication at each farmer land, each location being treated as a replicate in a completely randomized design. Farmer-managed trials comparing an improved spring wheat variety with this local facultative winter type with and without fertilizer (60kg/hec).

The results were used for cost benefit analysis considering labour data on soil preparation, planting, harvesting and threshing. Net benefits ranged from Rs 250 to Rs 600/ha in these trials.


Barley in the rainfed farming systems of Balochistan (1989).

After wheat, barley is an important rainfed crop in the highland Balochistan. The Arid Zone Research Centre, has conducted research on barley productivity under on-farm field condition in various locations of Balochistan. The results revealed improved variety of barley grain yield are higher than local landrace. Net benefits for an improved barley variety were higher than the local variety.  A questionnaire was designed to carry-out survey for:


A survey of barley producers was carried out in upland Balochistan. Three areas chosen for the survey represented different rainfall levels. Thirty barley growers were interviewed in Khuzdar (Loc.1), 31 farmers from Kalat, Quetta and Pishin (Loc.2), and 25 farmers were interviewed from Loralai and Zhob districts (Loc.3).


The results indicated that barley has early maturity than wheat, so birds damage the crop despite rust, insect and smut attack. Farmers preferred wheat straw to barley straw due to the higher prices of wheat relative to barley as barley market is small and uncertain, and above all wheat is used for household consumption.  It is concluded that farmers of the area would grow more barley if the barley yield or barley price increased by 50 to 100 percent.


Ex-ante economic technology evaluation for research and extension program design: sheep production and improvement in Balochistan, Pakistan (1989).


An ex-ante economic evaluation of eight i.e health, flock management, high energy feeding and breeding intervention combinations for the improvement of sheep production in Balochistan were carried out  using sheep flock budgeting model. The objective was to provide information for research and extension program design prior to undertaking of a full experimentation program. On-farm testing and evaluation of the interventions included an assessment of the technical viability in the field, economic profitability and risk.

The major limiting factor to increasing sheep and goat productivity in Balochistan is the harsh environment with low and erratic intra-and-inter year rainfall. Important constraints to increase small ruminant productivity, which stem from the harsh environment, are nutritional deficiency, animal disease, poor flock management and poor genetic potential.

The results indicated that out of eight, interventions 1, 2, and 3 involving vaccination, de-worming, dipping and flock management were found economically profitable under both good and poor rainfall year scenarios. These three interventions, especially if used in combination, seem viable opportunities to increase sheep productivity in Balochistan. Interventions 4 through 8, which involve feeding, did not prove to be highly economical overall with B/C ratios around 2 and less. In the good rainfall year scenario, interventions 4 through 8 all had a B/C ratio of 1 or greater, but given feed availability.  In poor rainfall year scenario, only interventions 7 and 8 had a B/C ratio greater than 1.


Descriptive and diagnostic studies of sheep and goat production in the farming systems of upland Balochistan (1989).

The sheep and goat industry of Balochistan operates within a harsh climatic environment and is characterized by small flock obtaining most of their feed from relatively unproductive rangeland.  At present most flocks are poorly managed as secondary enterprises and are used as a store of wealth rather than a commercial business. A survey of farmers was undertaken in Zarchi area of Kalat district and Tomagh in Loralai district representing locations with different ethnic groups.  The objective was to obtain data and information on livestock numbers, rangeland ownership and control, and supplementary feeding.  The results revealed that sheep and goats are the major class of livestock in Balochistan and numbers have increased substantially. Major constraints are nutritional deficit, disease and health problems, poor flock management, lack of sufficient infrastructure, rangeland management and control problems, and poor genetic potential of animals in Balochistan.


An important step in increasing the long term productivity of sheep and goat industry is the development of an overall strategy by the Balochistan Government to guide the industry taking into consideration of 1) sheep and goat marketing and export trade opportunities, 2) changes into crop land use for more feed production, and 3) the role of research and extension.


Animal raising in highland Balochistan: a socio- economic perspective (1989).

Baseline data covering the socioeconomic life of the animal raisers was covered in this study. A formal survey by a multidisciplinary group of scientists from AZRC was carried out in 1987. Two hundred households, 40 each from Ferozabad (Khuzdar), Kovak (Kalat), Zarchi (Kalat), Dasht (Kalat), and Tomagh (Loralai) were chosen at random. The major concern of this study was to:

1)  Identify the utilization of labour force of animal raisers,

2)  Documentation of grazing pattern and systems

3)   Identify constraints and problems of animal raisers.


In the rural areas, the labour force in agriculture is underutilized, so the animal raising enterprise is the option left for the utilization of labour force in the rural households. Most of the lands where crop raising is not possible are used as grazing land. These are generally located in remote and mountainous areas. The three main sheep and goat production systems common in Balochistan are transhumant, nomadic, and sedentary/household types. Among the nomads groups, there are two types; true nomadic and the semi-nomadic. Like nomads, transhmants are two types those moving between the highlands and the plains that practice dryland farming and those moving within the common rangelands and spending their summers and winters according to grazing availability.


It is evident from results that these systems of animal production are undergoing severe pressure to change from traditional modes owing to the combined and associated stimuli of national development, animal overpopulation and degradation of rangefeed resources.


Livestock production and related  statistics in Balochistan (1989).

Livestock production is the major livelihood of the people of Balochistan. Ninety-three percent of the area of Balochistan is unit for cultivation and thus used for livestock grazing. An effort has been made to describe the livestock breeds of Balochistan and data from different sources has been gathered. This will provide an opportunity to exploit their potential in different areas of the province.

The major breeds of cattles are: Bhagnari, Lohani, Rojan, and Red sindhi. The sheep breeds in Balochistan are Balochi, Bibrik, Harnai, and Rakhshani whereas goat breed are Kajli, Khurassani and lehri. The detail information of veterinary hospitals and dispensaries are compiled and presented in this report. Milk and meat production in Balochistan has also been estimated and available in this research study.


Production and marketing of potatoes in upland Balochistan: a preliminary survey (1989). 

Balochistan produces about 13% of the total potato of Pakistan. Potato is grown as summer crop in the hilly areas and winter crop in the plain areas of Balochistan. At present the average potato yield in Balochistan is 10.5 tones per hectare, which is very low, as compared to 25-40 t/ha obtained in major potato producing countries of the world. Three locations i. e Kanak and Mungocher in district Kalat, and Kanmehterzai in district Pishin were surveyed and a representative sample of 5 villages from each of the three locations were selected. The thematic concern was to: 1) To study the existing potato production practices of the farmers, and  identify major production constraints, 2) evaluate the cost of production, 3) study the prevailing marketing system, channels and margins, and 4) recommend research priorities and  suggest policy measures. 


The results indicated that the potato production appears to be declining in Balochistan. The factors contributing to this low productivity include diseased and physiologically poor quality seed tubers, incorrect timing and quantity of irrigation and poor agricultural practices adopted by the growers in upland Balochistan. Extreme price fluctuation discouraged farmers from taking the risk associated with adopting new technologies. Returns were calculated on the basis of overall average yield and prices obtained by the respondents. The net return at producer level was Rs 7832 per hectare and Rs 815/ton  which seems adequate.   The study concludes that the production can be increased if availability of improved, disease free and certified seed is ensured. The main fields of research might include; selection of higher yielding varieties from exotic material, breeding of higher yielding varieties, analysis of soil, pathological and entomological studies to determine effective methods of control of potato crop etc. 


Economics of water harvesting trials with cereal crops in highland Balochistan (1993). 

The most limiting factor for crop production in rainfed areas of Balochistan is the skewed distribution of rainfall in both time and space. Annual rainfall in highland Balochistan ranges from 175 to 200mm. Crop production under Khuskaba and Sailaba farming system totally depends either on rainfall or runoff water collected from non-cultivable land to supplement rainfall. A water harvesting technique was experimented under different treatments  (Control, 1:1, 2:1, and 3:1 catchment: cropped area) by the AZRC scientists.  A study was designed with the following objectives: 1) to compare the water-harvesting techniques with the existing farming practices and 2) to determine to what extend economic benefits ae increased and their associated risks decreased.  Data from six seasons of wheat trials and four season of barley trials were used. Partial budgets were developed for each crop, season, location and trial, to calculate net benefits and costs associated with the treatments. 


Results from wheat trials showed that the 1:1 treatment had 22 percent higher net benefits (Rs 422/ha) than the control (Rs 345/ha) with a 22 percent reduction in the coefficient of variation. The 2:1 treatment had 33 percent lower net benefits (Rs 230/ha) than the control and reduced the variation in net benefits by 10%. In contrast, barley trials showed that the 1:1 treatment yielded 18 percent lower net benefits (Rs 291/ha) than the control. Treatment 2:1 had 14% lower net benefits (Rs 251/ha) than the control and 19% more variation. The reduction in total costs under the 1:1 treatment resulted in higher net benefits than the control. 


Marketing of goat and sheep skins in highland Balochistan (1989). 

Informal and formal survey information was used to investigate the marketing process of sheep and goat skins, to identify problems faced by intermediaries involved in skin marketing, to identify opportunities to improve marketing efficiency, and to evaluate the potential for developing tanneries in Balochistan Sixty butchers and 35 beoparis were interviewed in Quetta, kuchlak and Mastung (group-I), Sanjavi and Loralai (Group-II), Kalat and Khuzdar (Group-III) of highland Balochistan. Beoparis’ warehouses in Quetta city were visited to measure the length and width of 80 sheep and 50 goatskins, which were classified by size (small, medium and large) and by origin (Balochistan, Iran and Afghanistan). 


Prices for sheep and goat skins received by butchers in winter were 16-22% higher than prices in summer. Sheep skin prices were 38-83% higher than goat skin prices. All butchers sold their skins directly to beoparis (wholesalers)  who collect the skin. Across all the areas, only the market margin of goat skins was significant.  Price information flowed on one-to-one basis, and there was no agency that monitor skin prices. Because of poor management, most of the skins of highland Balochistan were found of low quality in term of size, thickness, flying cuts and scars.  A tannery could be an example of the economic potential for value-added products compared to by-products. This would encourage the producers to produce better quality skins demanded by the tanneries. 


Camel survey results in highland Balochistan, (1991). 

The camel population in Balochistan has increased very rapidly in the last 20 years, from 46,000 camels in 1965 to 349,000 camels in 1986 which indicates 35% of   provincial share. Per capita camel availability is about 1 camel per 14 inhabitants. It is apparent that camels are widely utilized for diverse farming activities and for transportation in the rural and urban areas. 


Agricultural economists and livestock specialists of AZRC conducted a descriptive, diagnostic, and comparative survey on camel utilization for draft and transportation at the farm level. An informal survey took place prior to formal survey which comprised 136 questionnaires in three areas of highland Balochistan. The information collected comprises household profile of camel owners, use of camels, number of camels owned, and land ownership. Detailed information was collected on camel demography, production and feeding constraints. The information is compiled describes the usage of camels for agricultural and non-agricultural activities in highland Balochistan. Information on economic transactions: the value of camels by age-group and sex, number of camels bought and sold, qualities looked for in male breeding camels and the income earned from camel services. The management practices for camels used for agricultural and non-agricultural activities are described. Veterinary services available and working conditions of camels are also presented in this report. 


Marketing and processing of small ruminants in highland Balochistan (1991). 

More than ninety percent of the small ruminants in Balochistan are produced under transhumant and nomadic pastoral systems. This study investigated the livestock and meat marketing practices in upland Balochistan. Three locations in highland Balochistan: Sanjavi, Kuchlak and Zarchi were selected. Twenty-five producers from each location and 10 village dealers, 5 commission agents and 10 butchers were interviewed. Livestock producers were reluctant to allow actual weighing of their animals; therefore, girth and height were used to estimate live weights. Producers have little knowledge about market forces and quality of livestock. The results indicated an average weight of a sheep was 26.4 kg and for a goat was 21.8 kg with estimated farm-gate prices of Rs 512 and Rs 480, respectively. Correspondingly, services of intermediaries in the marketing chain represented 32% (Rs 238/head) and 30% (Rs. 202/head), respectively, of the price paid by consumers. 


The main factors affecting the price of animal are species, breed, quality, sex, age, expected carcass weight, skin condition and the supply of animals. The study recommended that extension efforts should make producers aware of market prices and need to plan output more carefully according to seasonal price fluctuation. 


Determination of goat and sheep prices in the markets of Balochistan – Pakistan (1998). 

This study dealt with an analysis of factors underlying sheep and goat price variation in Balochistan. A market survey of weight, age, gender, body condition and breed was undertaken to examine the effect of these characteristics on prices per head and per kg. Three markets; two primary and one terminal, were chosen for the study. The information was gathered on a weekly basis for 28 weeks, and the price per head data was analysed using linear regression. A quadratic hedonic price model was also applied to determine the impact of animal characteristics on price per kg. Cross correlation analysis was also carried out using weekly average prices of primary and terminal markets. 


The explanatory power of the linear model was considered adequate as factors included for 79%, 81% and 82% of goat price variation at mastung, Kuchlak and Quetta markets respectively and more for sheep. Live-weight was found to be statistically significant in determining price followed by gender, age, and body condition. There was no strong evidence that breed affected price. In the hedonic price model, Kuchlak and Mastung were treated together, and the variables were found significant. The cross correlation analysis showed that prices were relatively closely correlated between markets over time, reflecting trade connections between the primary and terminal markets. 


The recommendation made on the basis of study results is to install a weighing machine separately for small as well as large ruminants at the market entry points in all the established markets in Balochistan. This would bring the producers at par with other market agents in terms of price-factor knowledge, at least live-weight, the main price determining factor, should be known to producers at the time of sale. 


Socioeconomic systems of pastoralist communities of highland Balochistan, 2000. 

While documenting various socioeconomic systems of pastoralists in Balochistan, keeping in view the characteristics of a particular community was classified into three major groups. 


1) Nomad pastoralists   2) Transhmants, 3) SedentaryNomads were further geographically divided into 1) Local, 2) International and 3) Afghan refugee pastoralists and ethnically 1) Baloach, 2) Brahavi, and 3) Pawanda. Transhumants comprises into Pashtoon and Baloch. 


Gradual socioeconomic transformation of pastoralists has been a classical feature in Balochistan. All the three traditional classes of pastoralists are subject to transformation in one or other way. Expanding cultivation is generally restricting movement of free roaming animals.  In general, all pastoralists are under the influence of modern era development. Their migratory routes are now subject to changes due to better road links. The Afghan problem has close down all international routes for nomadic pastoralists. 


Evaluation of farmer’s perception on azrc generated technologies 

Arid Zone Research Centre (AZRC) has been conducting research on rainfed areas of Balochistan 1) to develop food and forage legume varieties, and 2) selection of suitable evergreen shrubs/trees for improving forage and grazing potential of ranges. After many years of research, AZRC developed high yielding varieties of cereal and forage legumes:  wheat (AZRI-96), barley (Sanober-96), lentil (Shir-az-96), and vetch (Kuhak-96). AZRC selected two perennial  drought and cold tolerant shrubs: Atriplex canescens and A. lentiformis. A survey was conducted to carryout the following objectives: 


1)   To evaluate farmers’ perception regarding adoption of AZRC technologies,

2)   To determine economical and social impact of the technologies on the quality of farmer’s life,

3)   To provide feedback to AZRC scientists for future research. 


To carryout the objectives, the progressive farmers on AZRC panel were interviewed to obtain their view through using PRA approach. Twenty-one out of 41 farmers who had the access to the seed of AZRC released varieties were interviewed in Killasaifullah, Loralai, Mastung, Khuzdar, and Quetta districts. The farmers mentioned about wheat variety that it is high yielding, cold and drought tolerant, and disease resistant than the local one but wheat straw is comparatively tougher than the local one. Barley variety has very successful story and at present it has replaced local barley in Naal area of Khuzdar district. The introduced variety of vetch did not give encouraging results in highland Balochistan. The farmers of the valley areas realized and appreciated 4wing salt bush technology and are willing to plant shrubs on their land subject to supply of nursery at the farm level. 

Diagnostic survey on farming system and production practices (2002) 

The study was carried out to understand local land animal farming systems and interaction between them. The major objective was to explore production problems and to suggest possible solutions. A checklist/semi-structured questionnaire was developed to carryout the objectives. Multidisciplinary approach was used to cover possible issues and problems.  

The survey results showed that the majority of the area population are engaged in on-farm sailaba farming followed by livestock rearing and some families are working in both enterprises to reduce the failure in either enterprise for their survival.  More than 90% of the cultivated area is under sailaba /rod kohi farming system. Wheat is the major winter crop while sorghum, mung, and moth are mainly planted in summer season.  

Key Reference :

Muhammad Ramzan Rafique
Muhammad Ramzan Rafique

I am from a small town Chichawatni, Sahiwal, Punjab , Pakistan, studied from University of Agriculture Faisalabad, on my mission to explore world I am in Denmark these days..

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