May 30, 2015
KARACHI: Soil fertility has emerged as a major issue in the country and promotion of sustainable soil coupled with land management ought to be central in ensuring soil and crop for sustainable agricultural development and environment, said Dr Mubarak Ahmed, Director General, Pakistan Agriculture Research Centre (PARC -Southern-zone).
Addressing the participants of a workshop “Contribution of Balanced use of Fertilizers to Food Security,” organized by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in partnership with the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, PARC and the U.S. Department for Agriculture (USDA), he also recommended public and private coordination in resolving the export issues related to the Mango across the country.
Dr. Mubarak emphasized the need of coming up with state-of-the-art agricultural practices, processing and packaging to ensure value addition and earning foreign exchange.
Representative of FAO Programme, Nasar Hayat supplementing Dr. Mubarak said it was imperative to include farmer’s experiences in devising fertilizer management strategy for sustainable crop production.
He said that FAO was currently working on a baseline atlas of current soil fertility practices, disaggregated by farm size and cropping systems in Pakistan.
The atlas, he said will help to understand required soil fertility management changes for sustainable intensification and consequently, appropriate balanced inputs and 4Rs would be promoted.
Dr. Waqar Ahmad, a soil expert working for FAO, gave a detailed presentation on the project overview and objectives of the workshop.
He highlighted the significance of the fertilizer use assessment at the farmer gate level, and the important role of public-private sectors to enhance quality produce.
Earlier, Dr. Nisar Ahmad, Former Chief of Planning Commission of Pakistan, addressing the participants of the workshop emphasized on the significance of 4R Nutrient Stewardship for sustainable agricultural intensification in the country with special reference to the mango production.
The objective of the workshop was to highlight the significance of balanced fertilization in sustainable agriculture and food security with major focus on promoting the use of appropriate balanced inputs and 4Rs (Right fertilizer at the Right rate at the Right time in the Right place) Nutrient Stewardship in partnership with the private sector, including fertilizer companies (FFC, Engro and Fatima Fertilizer Company Limited), wholesalers, retailers and farmer associations.
Workshop participants also assessed the use of fertilizer management practices at farm-gate level with special focus on Mango plantation.