Agriculture minister visits Nishat Mills’ biomass plant

June 27, 2013

Punjab Minister for Agriculture Dr Farrukh Javed visited the biomass plant of Nishat Mills on Wednesday. He was accompanied by the Special Secretary Agriculture Momin Agha and Manager Thermal Punjab Power Development Board Madam Sania. During his visit to the biomass plant, the Minister stated that the Punjab government intend to environmental friendly biogas plants having latest technology. Agriculture minister visits Nishat Mills' biomass plant
The Minister visited various sections of the biomass plants and enquired about preparation of the high quality and high performance plants prepared in a very short span of time. Experts suggested that special zones should be declared on the pattern of China for biomass plants so as raw material could easily be available for every plant. It may be mentioned here that the Punjab government wanted to install 1,000 biogas powered tube wells in the province during next financial year.


Farmers can benefit from precision agriculture

June 24, 2013

Farmers in developing countries could take advantage of the emerging field of precision agriculture without needing the expensive technology usually associated with it: This was stated by Speakers at a conclusion of 2-day International Seminar on “Innovative Technologies, Precision Agriculture, water, Renewable Energy and Bio-system Modelling “Organised by Water Management Research Center University of Agriculture, Faisalabad” on Sunday.
Speakers included UAF Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, Canadian Scientists Dr Qamar-Uz-Zaman, Dr Tri Nguyen Quang, Professor Dr Muhammad Iqbal Dean Faculty of Agri. Engineering & Technology, Director WMRC UAF Professor Dr Allah Bakhsh, Dr Anjum Munir, Dr Syed Hamid Hussain Shah, Dr Abdul Ghafoor, and Dr Jahanzib Masood Cheema. VC UAF urged the scientists to introduce new innovative technological Agronomic packages for small farmers keeping in view to provide solution of their problems. He was of the view that Precision is the only way to reap maximum productivity by utilising minimum resources by ensuring environment friendly measures as well. Farmers can benefit from precision agriculture
Dr Khan said Crop yields could be improved by applying traditional knowledge to mirror precision techniques such as using the satellite Global Positioning System (GPS) to analyse farm land.
Geo-statistical analyses of data from sensors both on land and from satellites are “becoming increasingly standard for all kinds of crop production and will be of crucial importance in the near future as the world faces increasing issues of food security,” said by Professor Dr Qamar. He added that such data can be used to build a map of soil biochemistry, which can help farmers improve crop yields and resistance to disease. “The cost of technology, which can also include high-tech farming machinery, has so far kept precision farming methods mostly in developed nations, although emerging economies are taking it up,” he maintained.
Dr Allah Bakhsh said small farmers can instead applying their traditional knowledge. “By working on the same area for years, they can map the soil like GPS would do, knowing which corners are more or less productive, which are drier or wet.” He added that manure can be separated in the best places, irrigation systems could be designed more targeted and seeds can be planted where the soil is more fertile.
Dr Tri Nguyen Quang said in the developing world, farming is more about knowledge, which is shared within the community, than expensive machinery. According to him a first step towards combining traditional and precision agriculture should be education. He maintained that farmers should be helped to realise how much can be done by simply adjusting some of their usual practices, like watering or spreading manure on fields. Advertisement3He was of the view that education on precision farming should be part of the aid programmes already in place, and cost would be minimal compared with expensive machinery. He said main potential for the developing world and for emerging economies is large-scale change, which requires investment in technology. Dr M Iqbal thanked the guests and participants.


Hydroponics – a quick overview

Truly a wonder of modern science – hydroponic gardens produce bountiful harvests of fruit, vegetables, grains, herbs and flowers in places never before able to sustain growth. Hydroponic gardens produce the healthiest crops with the highest yields and vitamin content thanks to their perfectly balanced nutrient solutions. Modern hydroponic methods provide food for millions of people worldwide and supply you, me and the food service industry with superior produce. In fact, hydroponic cultivation is so effective, NASA has devised an advanced method of hydroponics for use in outer space. The science of hydroponics began with experimentation into deter-mining the elementary composition of plants. These experiments have been dated as early as 1600 A.D., however, records show that plants have been cultivated in soil free mixtures of sand and gravel even earlier. The hanging gardens of Babylon and the floating gardens of the Mexican Aztecs are perfect examples of early hydroponic gardening. Egyptian hieroglyphics have even been found depicting the cultivation of plants in water as far back as several hundred years BC.

The word “Hydroponics” was coined by Dr. W.F. Gerick in 1936 to describe the cultivation of both edible and ornamental plants in a solution of water and dissolved nutrients. The simple meaning is derived from the Greek “Hydro“- meaning water, and “Pones“- meaning labor. In this method of cultivation, plants are provided with the nutrients required for growth by a “nutrient” solution which is basically nutrient enriched mineral water. This nutrient solution can be circulated around the roots by  either the passive force of gravity or the active force of an electromechanical pump. Some systems simply bath the roots in nutrient solution and use an air pump to oxygenate the solution from below to prevent stagnation and provide the roots with important oxygen.

Hydroponics an overviewPlants grown hydroponically are healthier than their soil grown counterparts since they receive a perfectly balanced diet and do not come in contact with soilborne pests and diseases. Super efficient hydroponic systems like the ones we show you how to build conserve water and nutrients by preventing evaporation and runoff. Arid regions where water is scarce can now grow crops with hydroponics. Since hydroponic systems deliver water and nutrients directly to the plant, crops can be grown closer together without starving each other and healthier plants add to a higher yield. By growing crops in a sterile environment, under ideal conditions, hydroponics saves the costs of soil preparation, insecticides, fungicides and losses due to drought and ground flooding.

In soil, plants waste a tremendous amount of energy developing a large root system to search for moisture and nutrients. When grown hydroponically, the roots are bathed or sprayed with nutrients dissolved in water. This way their energy can be redirected into the production of more foliage, flowers, fruits and vegetables.
Plants grown hydroponically are healthier because they receive a well balanced ‘diet’. They are more vigorous because little energy is wasted searching for water and nutrients. As a result, hydroponically grown produce is generally larger, tastier, and more nutritious than the same produce grown in soil. In order to give the physical support soil would normally provide, a sterile medium such as sand, gravel, rocks, cocofiber or rockwool (or combination of each) may be used. In the case of aeroponics, no medium is used and the plants receive physical support from baskets and in this case, wires suspended from the roof. These plants are rotated through a chamber that supplies their roots with a fine spray of water and hydroponic nutrients.Advertisement3

Oxygen to the roots increases a plant’s metabolism substantially. Some advantages of replacing soil with a sterile medium are:
1. Elimination of soil borne pests, funguses and diseases.
2. Elimination of troublesome weeds and stray seedlings.
3. Reduction of health risks and labor costs associated with pest management and soil care. 
At the Environmental Research Laboratory (ERL) at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Dr. Carl Hodges and Dr. Merle Jensen in conjunction with Walt Disney Productions, have developed new concepts for presenting hydroponic technologies to the public in an entertaining way. The ERL helped create two attractions called “Listen to The Land” and “Tomorrow’s Harvest” – both major facilities at Epcot Center near Orlando, Florida. Hydroponics is NASA’s solution to provide a self sufficient food source for future space stations and proposed visitors to mars. The administration has sponsored a research program titled Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) in order to further develop the technology and carry it into the future. The picture below is of Epcot/ NASA’s Space Agriculture expo as seen from a tour of the Epcot Center attraction. The lighting used in these examples is high pressure sodium or HPS, which delivers an excellent spectrum of color and output in lumens. High Intensity Discharge (H.I.D.) lighting, which includes the HPS and metal halide type lamps, is the best lighting to use when gardening indoors or supplementing natural lighting outdoors due to its efficiency and close representation of the sun’s natural light color and intensity.

Source: Oasis Agro Industries Pakistan

Farmers’ problems to be resolved on priority basis

June 20, 2013

Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that agriculture is the backbone of our economy, and Punjab government was taking concrete measures for promotion of agriculture and farmers’ problems would be resolved on priority basis.
Muhammad Shahbaz SharifHe said provincial ministers and concerned authorities should sit together and review the resolution of farmer’s problems including electricity bills, tariff, and other problems. Shahbaz Sharif said that he himself would talk to federal government for resolving the problems of farmers.
He was talking to the delegation of farmers led by President Pakistan Kisan Ittehad Khalid Mehmood Khokhar at Model Town on Wednesday. Shahbaz assured the farmers that Punjab government would sincerely take all possible steps for resolving problems of the farmers.
The delegation informed the Chief Minister about electricity bills, tariff and other problems being faced by small farmers upon which, Shahbaz Sharif assured that sincere efforts would be made for resolving all problems of farming community including electricity tariff.
Referring electricity crisis, Shahbaz said “we have made promise with the people of overcoming energy crisis and we all have to work day and night for eliminating loadshedding. We are considering to setting up 15 and 20 mega watt plants of biogas and biomass through public private partnership.”
He said utility of technology for generating electricity through biogas and biomass had proved in various countries and “we will also take full benefit from this technology.” Biogas, biomass and other projects of generating electricity would be implemented speedily, he added.
The CM directed concerned authorities that a practicable plan of collecting raw material throughout the province for generating electricity through biomass should be evolved. On a complaint of the delegation, he warned that the business of spurious agri-medicines and fertilisers would not be tolerated and strict action would be taken against the elements as per law. AgriNews 1
He said India had taken lead in cotton production which was a matter of pondering for us, adding the cotton production could be enhanced by utilising modern agriculture technology. The CM directed that provincial ministers of agriculture, irrigation and energy and concerned authorities should sit together and formulate proposals for implementing the projects of generating energy through biogas and biomass and operating tube well on solar energy.
He said best technology with regard to biogas, biomass and solar energy was available with Germany and China and they should be contacted for that purpose. “Similarly, this technology is being implemented successfully in Indian province Hariyana and it can also be contacted.”
He directed that the payments of sugarcane prices by the sugar mills to the farmers should be ensured. President Pakistan Kisan Ittehad Khalid Mehmood Khokhar while expressing satisfaction over
the policies of Punjab government said the CM would certainly resolve the problems of small farmers.
Khalid Mehmood said small farmers of Punjab were with the CM in eliminating Patwari culture, adding small farmers would become prosperous due to the steps taken by the CM for the promotion of agriculture. Provincial Minister for Local Government and Law Rana Sanaullah Khan, Agriculture Minister Dr Farrukh Javed, Energy Minister Sher Ali Khan, Member National Assembly Chaudhry Iftikhar Nazir, Secretaries of Agriculture and Energy Departments and officers of Lesco, Mepco and Fesco were also present on the occasion.


Internship Seeker: Asif Aziz CV




VOICE : 021- 34602475: 0343-2018278

Internship SeekerObjective: To put my academic & creative ability to its full use, & pursue a career in its relevance.

Personal Information

Father Name : Abdul Aziz

Date of birth : November 29, 1989

Sex : Male

N.I.C No : 42201-3834100-7

Domicile/PRC : Karachi

Marital Status : Single

Nationality : Pakistani

Religion : Islam

Academic Qualification

2010-present B.S(Hons)(“3”G.P) in Agriculture & Agribusiness Management

From University Of Karachi

2008-2009. Intermediate (Pre-Engineering “B” Grade) from Karachi Board

From Govt. National college

2006-2007 Matric in Science (“A” Grade)

From Karachi Board

Professional Qualification

B.S(Hons.) in Agriculture and University of Karachi

Agribusiness Manangement 4 Year Program

Currently in 6th semester

Courses Studied

Semester I: Introduction to agriculture and agribusiness management, Mechanization in

Agriculture, Soil Science, Biology I, English, Crop Production I (Rabi)

Semester II: Horticulture, Plant Protection, Crop Production II (Kharif), Functional Biology II,

Communication Skills, Islamiat

Semester III: Crop Physiology and Biochemistry, Entomology, Agricultural Economics,

Animal Husbandry, Statistics I, Pakistan Studies

Semester IV: Plant Breeding and Genetics, Plant Pathology, Statistics II, Agricultural

Microbiology, Introduction to Computer Studies, Urdu

Semester V: Fundamentals of Accountings, Principles of Management, Economics of Agro

Based Industries, Agricultural Finance, Sustainable Agriculture, Community


Semester VI: Agricultural Benefit – Cost Analysis, Business Information Systems, Economics of

Livestock Production, Farm Planning and Management, Management of Farm

Animals, Organizational Behaviour

Training Course Attended

• Attened one day seminar on Halal: symbol of intolerance in the hygiene, safety and quality on October 6, 2012.(certificate)

• Attened one day seminar on Agriculture exports Business Management on April 28, 2012.

• Attened One day workshop on Apiculture on May 12, 2011.(certificate)

• Attened One day conference on 5th International conference on Food Agriculture & live stock on April 26, 2011

• Attened One day seminar on Ostrich Farming (open of a new Horizon) on January 27, 2011. (certificate)

• Attened One day seminar on Agri-business Management (The key to Future) on May 8, 2010. (certificate)

• Attened One day seminar on Organic kitchen Gardening on April 24, 2010.


· 15 days internship in Pakistan agriculture research council (certificate)


· Basic knowledge of Microsoft Excel, Word and Power Point

Good knowledge of internet, e-mail

· Having good communication skills

· Interpersonal skills

· Leadership Quality

Language Proficiency:
English and Urdu (Read, Write and Speak)

· Available on request.

Mango Export from Pakistan and WTO Regime on Food & Agriculture

By Dr. Syed Wajid H. Pirzada

The diversified natural resources [NR] and eco- systems, Pakistan is endowed with, gives Pakistan a comparative advantage in agro-livestock &fisheries [sub] sectors, over her competitors in this area.

The agro-diversity best places the country to produce diversified goods in general and agro-livestock & fisheries products in particular;

Which can cater to diverse market niches and satisfy the [diverse] demand and aesthetic tastes of consumers, in the [emerging] global trade context.

Mango Export from Pakistan and WTO Regime on Food & AgricultureCheap and hardworking labor coupled with [indigenous] knowledge & skills the indigenous people are equipped with, puts Pakistan in an enabling environment, given the political will, to exploit the [comparative] advantage country enjoys in this sector.
Be it refreshening buffalo milk with fat premium, basmati rice with [appetizing] aroma & quality unique to [Pakistani] rice belt, wool for hand-knit rugs & carpet industry, leather goods symbolic of craftsmanship of our people, citrus especially kinnow- a relished Vit. C drink or the king of fruits-the mango, the juicy delicacy of Pakistan, all are unique in their attributes, of commercial value.
To underpin economic development of the country, sustainable trade development remains the cherished goal being an imperative. To this end, one needs to exploit, to national advantage, all export possibilities by unfolding the inherent potential of different [sub] sectors of economy. Such an initiative warrants capitalizing on the strength and managing the weaknesses of these sectors. One of such promising [sub] sectors is that of horticulture, which like livestock, fisheries & floriculture, has enough in store in terms of [future] trade prospects.
With in horticulture sub sector, mango [cultivation &] export, like citrus, has great potential. Mango varaities such as Sindhry, Chaunsa, Fajri, Golden and Began Phaly, just to name few, are in great demand, especially in Middle & Far Eastern countries.
Despite the fact that in a single year [2000], Pakistan was able to export 39,000 tones of mango, she [still] faces multiple problems in realizing the true export potential in this area.

Some of the problems impacting mango trade are summarized below:
.Cost of inputs: water, fertilizer, pesticide, and electricity tariff
.Emerging disease problems e.g. declining productivity syndrome
.(Lack of) value addition: no systematic effort
.(Little) varietal development: inadequate research capacity
.Poor quality management practices
.(Poor) storage & processing: limited capacity e.g. cool chain, low processing levels
.Intermediaries: from growers to retailers /exporters.
.(Inefficient) marketing: no strategic planning.
.(Unreliable) shipment: faces problem.
.Trade Specific:
Pakistan continues to face the embargo, on Pakistani mango, placed by USA 40 years back. Lately Australia, Germany & Japan have banned import of mango from Pakistan on the pretext of Fruit Fly issue.
Post harvest losses account for some 20-40%. And according to one [considered] estimate saving 30% losses would help double mango exports from Pakistan.

A continued ban on Pakistani mangoes, it self speaks of institutional shortfalls for, a country like Philippines was able to overcome this problem, and thus augmented her mango exports. Yet, other competitors in the world, for example, Mexico, Haiti, Brazil, have managed, like Philippines, securing sustainable market niche. Indonesia, India and Bangladesh have also a reasonable share in [global] mango exports.

Pakistan, because of her comparative advantage, can [further] boost her mango exports by addressing the problems constraining mango trade, especially those related to health & hygiene standards and post harvest losses.
As with the advent of WTO, food & agricultural trade has gone global, the food safety & quality issues have got a new prominence. In this context, two of WTO Agreements namely Agreement on application of Sanitary & Phyto-sanitary [SPS] Measures, and Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade [TBT] are of special importance for, these address [food] safety & quality issues respectively and are binding on 145[WTO] Members. Whereas, the former [SPS] Agreement, reaffirms the rights of Member countries, afforded under Article XX (b) of GATT, that has [now] been re-enforced under SPS Agreement.
This Agreement provides that Member should not be prevented from or enforcing measures necessary to protect human, animal and plants life or health, subject to the requirements that these measures are applied only to the extent necessary, are based on scientific principles and are not applied in a manner which would constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination between Members where the same conditions prevail. The [SPS] Agreement also encourages the Members to base their [SPS] measures on international standards, guidelines & recommendations, as to avoid trade disputes.
The later [TBT] Agreement [also] seeks to recognize international standards, where they exist. It [further] provides that, like SPS measures, technical measures enforced under the Agreement should not create unnecessary barriers in international trade, and that these should have a legitimate purpose, and the cost of their implementation should be proportional to the purpose of the measure. The technical measures [standards] under this [TBT] Agreement-The Standard Code, relate to quality aspects, fraudulent practices, packing & packaging and labeling etc.
With [likely] dismantling of tariffs under WTO [AoA] regime, there is natural temptation, on part of the countries to use non-tariff and technical barriers to protect their agriculture from external competition. Industrially Advanced Countries [IACs] in particular have, at times, tendency to use higher [than actually required] health & hygiene and ecological & environmental standards, which tantamount to creating arbitrary & unjustifiable barriers to trade.
Notwithstanding this intent of importing countries, food safety standards, as envisaged by SPS Agreement, and for that matter quality standards sought under TBT Agreement are to be adhered to, if we want to engage gainfully in mango trade. Needless to mention that [better] health & hygiene standards are [equally] beneficial to consumers at home, as these help avoid attended risks, associated with food trade and associated economic losses
It is worth mentioning that if an [SPS], and for that matter a technical measure does not meat the criteria set by these [two] Agreements for example, if [subjective] intent of an [SPS] measure is protection of local industry, as against health & life of humans, animals & plants, it can be challenged in WTO dispute Settlement Body. This however, is not only costly but also a time consuming proposition. As WTO regulations are to be enforced on bilateral basis, it is in fitness of things to harmonize the standards or enter in to equivalence arrangement with trading partners.
Both Agreements encourage harmonization and equivalence arrangement. Needless to mention that in the eventuality of trade dispute [both] trading partners have to make a convincing case to defend their view points, as burden of proof shifts from importing to exporting party during dispute settlement proceedings, based on risk assessment and scientific rationale. Most of the developing countries [DCs] don’t have such a [techno-legal] capacity, and thus they stand to lose in such disputes.
It is [thus] advisable that to avoid [trade] disputes and to sell the produce with confidence and certainty, efforts be made to improve food safety & quality, and [simultaneously] enter in to equivalence arrangements where possible. Such arrangements shall
help contain losses in terms of value of [mango] crop lost as a result of rejections in export trade. [US] Estimates suggests that in food rejection cases, food hygiene problems, contamination with insects and rodent filth ranks at number 1, followed by microbiolo-gical contamination, failing to comply with food registration and labeling requirements, of importing country.
Those in mango export therefore need to manage mango health & quality issues.

Quality management:
.Quality standards need to be introduced for fresh mangoes. These relate to inter alia maturity index of cultivars, post harvest behavior and other quality – related attributes such as injuries & defects, tolerance [limits] etc. Similarly, standards & grades related to packing & packaging and labeling are to be established.

.Minimum requirements with regard to quality, for example, are:The [mango] fruit must be sound. Produce affected by rotting or deterioration such as to make it unfit for consumption is excluded. It should be free from damage and/external deterioration caused by heat and must be clean, practically free of any visible foreign matter. Free from any foreign taste and / or smell.

.Training: In [mango] quality management, especially in the area of sampling & analytical methods needs to be imparted. To this end [specific] training material & courses in the form of manuals & modules are to be tailored and conducted.

.Quality Promotion: Last, but by no means least, Quality Management Facilitators / Promoters, as against the concept of Quality Inspectors, are to be deployed to help mango growers & exporters adopt the required health & quality standards, employing a participatory development approach.

It needs hardly any emphasis that, it is no longer [more] possible [these days] to export [fresh] mangoes without regard to quality & safety standards of importing country. The mango growers & exporters, with the active cooperation, of their Associations/Chambers and Export Promotion Bureau ,need to work proactively on evolving such standards & grades, as required by trading partners through bilateral arrangement, that can satisfy health safety & quality concerns of importing country.
Mango Exporters of Mexico have benefited from such a proactive approach. Mexico used to export till mid nineties her mango with out any quality control. For example, in 1995 [alone] Mexico exported 30 million boxes of mango without resorting to quality standards. The Export Mango Packing Association [EMEX], realizing the challenge ahead got engaged proactively, with Mexican Research Center in Food & Development, for purpose of [quality] standards setting.
In progressive economies,like Singapore, standards setting is carried out in private sector, which assists Government in quality management. Private sector in Pakistan too should embark upon this strategy.
FacebookMango Health& hygiene and safety management
Diseases & Quarantine Laws: number of diseases affect mangoes such as Powdery mildew, anthracnose, sooty mold, root rot & rot of mangoes malformation of inflorescence etc. Some 86+ species of insect pests alone have been recorded on mango. Fruit fly, scale insects, mealy bug & hoppers are important.
The conditions laid down by importing countries, in terms of disease control measures; such as quarantine [SPS] laws need to be met. Most of these countries have regulations aiming at protection of life & health of flora, fauna and human being. For example, under Biosecurity Act 1993, of New Zealand, there have been provided [explicit] import health standards for fresh mango [Mangifera indica]. And until and unless these import health standards under section 22 of the Biosecurity Act are satisfied, entry in to New Zealand of [all] plants & plant products is prohibited.
Plant Protection Department, Government of Pakistan needs to engage in [proactive] dialogue with countries like New Zealand & Australia to harmonize plant [mango] Protection measures.
New Zealand in the recent past has also introduced legislation, under Hazardous Substances Act 1996 that regulates deliberate introduction of new organisms including inter alia Genetically Modified Organisms [GMOs]. Relevant agencies in Pakistan like Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Food, Agriculture & Livestock need to study these regulations and coordinate with Risk Management Authority, Government of New Zealand. This shall help formulate national strategy on GMOs.
The [se] quarantine laws address the issue(s) related to Regulated Pests [Actionable]-those organisms for which phyto-sanitary actions would be undertaken, if they were intercepted or detected. These pests have been categorized, under the Act, into different groups, based on [possible level] of risk associated with these organisms. These groups are, Quarantine: Risk Group 1, 2 & 3 Pests Regulated non-quarantine pests and Regulated non-plant pests.
Similarly Vectors -associated Quarantine Pests, Vectored Organisms, Strains [variants] of pests, Unidentifiable Organisms; and unlisted Organisms have been dealt with under the category of Regulated Pest in the Act. Under Non-regulated Pests [Non-actionable]-those organisms for which Phyto-sanitary actions would not be undertaken, if they were intercepted/detected; categories like Non-regulated non-quarantine pests, Non-regulated non-plant pests and Contaminants such as soil, leaf litter etc have been addressed. For example, lots with more than 25 gms of soil per 600 unit samples shall be treated, reshipped or even destroyed.
Each [mango] consignment thus has to carry Phyto-sanitary Certificate from [mango] exporting country, stating specifically inter alia that the mangoes have been inspected in accordance with appropriate official procedures and found to be free of visually detectable Regulated Pests, as specified by the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry.
The aforementioned conditions are specific to mangoes imported from Philippines. Other countries need to enter in to [similar] bilateral quarantine arrangement such as agreement & work plan (s), with their trading partners.
In addition to the [aforementioned] requirement of Phyto-sanitary Certification, there are[pre] conditions specific to protection, packaging & shipping materials, which for example under the New Zealand Biosecurity Act, 1993, need to be inert/synthetic. Other preconditions could [possibly] relate to transit requirements e.g. mango must be packed & shipped in a manner to prevent contamination by Regulated Pests.
Needless to underline that [mango] consignments, destined for target market, are expected to carry mangoes in intact form, color and at required level of maturity. For this, mangoes must have been carefully picked and have an appropriate degree of development & ripeness in accordance to the criteria appropriate to the variety and to the area in which these are grown. The state of ripeness must be such as to allow the fruit to withstand transport& handling pressures, and thus arrive in satisfactory condition at the place of destination.
The importing country [in this case New Zealand] will only issue Biosecurity Clearance, if she is satisfied that Regulated Pests are not detected and consignment is free of Contaminants.
Capacity Building Initiatives: Following initiatives can help build trade capacity in mango [sub] sector:
.Mobilization of mango growers & exporters as Associations/ Chambers
.Credit Program for value-added exports
.Investment in Mango R &D
.Gene Banks
.Disease control/disease free zones
.Development of quality infrastructure
.Grading/Export Standards
.Training in quality management
.Packing, packaging & labeling facilities
.Specific initiatives are to be taken in the following areas:
Monitoring & surveillance of contaminants:
.Contamination: Food, as we know, itself is a good indicator of environment, in which it is produced. Because of urbanization and concomitant industrialization phenomena, risk of food being contaminated with industrial and other potential pollutants has increased. Surveillance & monitoring of contaminants[thus] alone [thus] help identify and avoid problems.
.Infestation: Constraints on trade resulting from fruit fly especially needs to be managed through appropriate scientific methods. Disinfestation with ethylene dibromide 20 g/m3 for 2 hr was earlier recommended as a [possible] treatment for disinfestation for fruit fly. With the discouraging trends and [consequent upon that] phasing out of this chemical world wide since 1984, it has become imperative to find better alternatives, such as dips and packing line flood treatments with dimethoate (400 mg/L) or fenthion (400 mg/L), and gamma irradiation at 75 Gy. Heat treatments, particularly vapor heat, are yet other alternatives. Irradiation and heat treatments are preferred for these are free of chemical residues.

Improper & unsanitary handling practices e.g. washing with contaminated water are the leading cause of food borne diseases.
Irradiation can serve to decontaminate the surface of these commodities, without residual effects associated with chemicals.
It also slows down the ripening process, and can thus facilitate safer transportation to destined markets.
Doses range from 0.15-1kGy can be applied without appreciable loss of food quality.
.Value Addition:
Some of the value added [mango] products, other than pickles, preserves etc are differenttypes of juice products:
.100% pure or 100% juice
.Cocktail, Punch, Drink & Beverage-less than 100% juice with added sweeteners.
.Fresh Squeezed Juices- not pasteurized
.From Concentrate-reconstituted from Concentrate
.Not from Concentrate-never been concentrated
.Fresh Frozen-freshly squeezed, packaged & frozen.
.Juice on refrigerated shelves-shelf stable products
.Canned Juice-Heated & sealed
.Juice industry can be promoted through value addition and by adopting Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points [HACCP].
.Multan be declared and developed as Mango Export Zone
.Mango Development Fund be established [as a share out of [EPB] available sources; and financial support e.g. up to 25,000 per acre .of plantation & nature of crop, may be provided for 5 years, on lines with Konkan India.
.Establish VHT, Irradiation, Cold Chain and Laboratory facilities at Multan.
.Packaging facility and tax holiday for value-added processing & exports may be provided.
.The mango traders need to seek help of professionals in popularizing – in a creative and aggressive manner – their firms/ products.
.Establish an immediate marketing presence in the destined market [even] prior to physical presence.
.Strengthen their position/ linkages with their trading partners/agents.
.Affiliate with trade group, before they [even] open the office.
.Acquire the critical marketing tools-product information representation in trade fairs, web sites; and for this they need to begin now and act strategically.

Courtesy: The World Trade Review

Challenges Faced By Pakistan’s Agriculture Sector

By Maheen Taraq

The economy of Pakistan depends heavily on agriculture. Importance of this sector is manifold as it feeds people, provides raw material for industry and is the base of our foreign trade.  Foreign exchange earned from merchandise exports is 45% of total exports of Pakistan. It contributes 26% of GDP and 52% of the total populace is getting its livelihood from it. 67.5% people are living in the rural areas of Pakistan and are directly involved in it. There are two main crops in Pakistan i.e. Rabi & Kharif. Main crops of Pakistan are wheat, rice, maize, cotton and sugar cane.

Challenges Faced By Pakistan's Agriculture SectorThese major crops contributed 7.7% last year. Minor crops are canola, onions, mangoes and pulses which contributed 3.6% as there was no virus attack last year. Fishery and Forestry contributes 16.6% and 8.8% respectively.
Though the agricultural sector is facing problems in Pakistan yet the major chunk of money comes from this sector. Let us shed some light on the problems of the agricultural sector of Pakistan of agricultural problems in Pakistan growth or development in Pakistan.
One being no mechanism has been adopted to eradicate the soil erosion and even after harvesting nothing is done to restore the soil energy. Therefore, the fertility of soil is decreasing day by day. The thickness of fertile layer of soil in Pakistan is more than 6 inches but the average yield is lower than other countries where the layer of fertile soil is only 4 inches.
Water in Pakistan’s rivers has gone down to perilously low levels. The reason for this is not just lack of rains. India is restricting water flow of rivers that originate from her and then flow into Pakistan, especially the Indus, Chenab and Jhelum rivers that pass through Indian held Kashmir. Pakistan has raised objections to Indian water projects, but a World Bank-appointed and supposedly “neutral” expert rejected most of the Pakistani objections, while also advising India to make some changes to the dam’s height. Pakistani commentators, pressure groups and leaders are convinced that India is controlling the river waters to strangulate Pakistan’s agriculture, which would definitely affect Pakistani exports and increase its dependency on food imports.
Despite being the fifth richest country in water resources , Pakistan is estimated to be losing 13 million cusecs [approximately 368,119 cubic meters/second] of water every year from its rivers into the sea, as it does not have enough reservoirs or dams to store water. The archaic method of flood irrigation is still in practice in whole of the country which wastes almost 50 to 60 percent of water. A new irrigation system called drip irrigation system has been introduced in many parts of the world. This not only saves water but also gives proper quantity of water according to the needs of plants. However, this system is yet to implemented in our country if we are to maximize our water utility.
Furthermore, owing to traditional methods of cultivation and harvesting, Pakistan has low yield per acre that means the average crop in Pakistan is just 1/4th of that of advanced states. Where as Nepal, India and Bangladesh are using modern scientific methods to increase their yield per acre. For this purpose, these states are using modern machines to improve their yield. Also, the small farmers are increasing in our country as the lands are dividing generation by generation. So, there are large number of farmers who own only 4 acres of land. These small farmers do not get credit facilities to purchase seeds, pesticides, fertilizers etc. Additionally, a large portion of land is owned by feudal and the farmers who work on their lands, are just tenants. This uncertain situation of occupancy neither creates incentive of work hard nor attracts capital investment.
On the other hand, water logging and salinity are increasing day by day. No effective measures have been taken to control it. The storage capacity of the dams is decreasing due to layers of mud accumulating at their basin so is the water availability per acre. Therefore, the farmers are installing more and more tube wells to irrigate their crops. This is why salinity is becoming a major issue in most parts of Punjab and Sindh.
As the usual focus is more on land, crops and yield problems, the man behind the plough is always ignored. While formulating the 5 or 10 years plan, no emphasize has been laid on the importance of solving the problems of farmers. As most of the farmers are illiterate, poor and ignorant, even the loans issued by ADBP or other banks are used by them in other fields like repayment of debts, marriage of daughters etc, in spite of its befitting use in agricultural sector.
Pakistan is rich in fertile land but this gift of good is being wasted. 79.6% million hectors of land is cultivated, where as only 20.43% million hectors is cultivated. There are two main reasons for that.
1. A major area is owned by feudals. It is difficult to manage such a huge area so only that part is cultivated which is easy to manage, the rest is left uncultivated.
2. The rise of industrialization has given threat to this sector. People are migrating to cities and cities are expanding, thus new towns and colonies are constructed on fertile lands.

Monopoly of Foreign Companies:
Along with these issues, the monopoly of Foreign Big Wigs and false policies of government must not be ignored.The pesticides companies are sorting partnership with “World Bank”. These companies are selling adulterated and expensive pesticides to poor farmers thus leaving them helpless. These pesticides are not only hazardous for health but also filling the pockets of companies. By moving according to the world bank these companies are gaining their own aims. Moreover there is a conflict of interests. It is not ensured that either the company conducting the agreement is basically trying to get access to international market or just working according to their aims.
Genetically Engineered Seeds:
91% of genetically engineered (GE) seeds are made and owned by one US Company called Monsanto. A vast majority of consumers around the world is against GE foods and crop as GE has been associated with health risks, loss of biodiversity, increased use of toxic weed killers and other environmental problems. 85% of GE crops are concentrated in just 3 countries i-e United States, Argentina and Canada. Globally G.E crops cover less than 1% of arable land.
Farmers around the world have experienced problems with Monsanto’s BT cotton. Pakistan has asked Monsanto to provide cotton seeds which consume less water as Pakistan is facing a grave issue of water shortage. It is a notorious organization that took the farmers to courts many times as it did not give ownership right to farmers to preserve seeds. Even the seed of harvested crop cannot be used again for cultivation. Monopoly of Monsanto is clear when it is selling seed at RS 1700 per kg to Pakistan and RS 700 per kg to India .
Non-comprehensive Policies of Pakistan:
18 billion in budget was allocated for agricultural sector of Pakistan but the withdrawal of subsidy on pesticides and electricity on the conditions of IMF has done considerable damage to this sector. Whereas America and European Union are giving a huge amount of subsidy to their farmers and that is a greatest hurdle in the implementation of W.T.O rules. Additionally, price policy is very weak. In Punjab sugar cane is sold 200 Rs. per 40 kilograms. It is purchased and then stocked by the Industrialists in their stores. When Brazil bought sugarcane from International Market and prices became high, the projected high demand gave Pakistani sugar mills owners a golden chance of selling sugar at high prices, resulting in Pakistan facing a severe sugar crisis. This forced Pakistan to import Sugar at high prices therefore, the prices of sugar went even higher in local markets.
In order to resolve our agricultural issues, each and every problem should be looked upon thoroughly and dealt with some concrete measures. First of all, feudalism should be abolished and lands should be allotted to poor farmers. This will not only enhance the performance of the farmers but also increase the productivity and per acre yield of all the crops in Pakistan. Taxes should be levied on agricultural income but not without devising a limit of land holding. Otherwise it would directly effect poor farmers.
Lack of guidance is the main reason for the farmers’ backwardness . As the only means of communication in rural areas is T.V or radio so it is urgently needed on the part of these mass communication resources to air the programmes and run ads related to the new agricultural techniques and scientific methods. But these programmes should be telecast in regional or local languages. Moreover, refresher courses should be arranged by government to equip the farmers with the latest techniques and methods in use. The communication gap between well qualified experts and simple farmers have not been bridged. Availability of these experts is not ensured in rural areas as they are reluctant to go there.

Moreover, Federal Seed Certification and Federal Seed Registration is approved but it should take responsible steps in approving seeds as it has already approved 36 new kinds of seeds. Those seeds which can create pest problem in future, should be banned. These seeds are of cotton mainly. International seed makers are providing those seeds which are not successful in our country as these seeds are not tested on our soil. A new Agricultural policy must be framed in which following steps should be focused on.
1. Small farmers must be focused. The major problems of small farmers should be solved first.
2. Provision of latest machinery , pesticides, insecticides and fertilisers to such farmers must be ensured at subsidised prices.
3. Consumer friendly policies must be formulated e.g they must be provided with accessible loans from banks.
4. Productivity enhancement programs must be constituted to adjust and support prices.
5. Different Agricultural zones should be introduced. As Multan is famous for its Mangoes and citrus fruits so it must be made Mango, citrus zone through which perishable products should be exported. Pakistan Agricultural storage & Services.
6. Corporation needs to take steps in this regard.
7. Corporate farming like giving lands to Mitchells, Nestle and Multinational companies is also a good idea that will also help those who own a large area of fertile land but can’t manage it.
8. Surplus vegetables and fruits must be exported. A scheme worth Rs.39 million has been approved for the current fiscal year for establishment of agro export processing zone for fruits, vegetables and flowers. This will also help in commercializing agriculture.
9. Latest machinery should be provided to the farmers at considerable prices to increase the per acre yield. This provision should be on easy installments so that the farmers can avoid the burden of loans. Subsidies should be given by the government for modern machinery.
The irrigation system of Pakistan also needs improvement as about 67% of the land is irrigated with canals. The employment of modern techniques of irrigation can solve the problems of irrigation in Pakistan. This includes drip irrigation and sprinkle irrigation methods. By using these techniques the farmers can save a huge chunk some of money which they pay for irrigation through tube wells and tractors.
Unless some rigidity and seriousness is not shown, India- Pakistan water issues may not be resolved .Thus, a mass movement must be called for to pressurise India to give up its claim on Pakistan’s water. Moreover, the government must embark on a crash program to build small dams which will play a vital role in improving the land’s fertlity, thereby increasing our per acre yirld. The rivers which are ideal for dam construction are : Indus, Jehlum and Chenab rivers. This will not only enhance the storage capacity of water and reduce the per acre cost of all the crops; but will also reduce the salinity chances of the land as less tubewell water will be flooded to the lands which cause salinity. Hence, it is not until proper attention and corrective measures are taken by both the public and private sector , that our agricultural yield may get improved and the agrarian issues may get resolved.


Pakistan, Ukraine need to share experience in agriculture

June 19, 2013

Pakistan could make tremendous progress in agriculture by sharing and engaging in public-private sector dialogue on the subject with Ukraine. This was stated by Engr M A Jabbar, Honorary Consul of Ukranie in Karachi on his return on Monday night after participating in the annual business conference held in Kyiv, Ukranie from June 13-15.
Pakistan, Ukraine need to share experience in agricultureThe official businessmen delegation led by Jabbar returned after enriching with the knowledge pertaining to the consideration of economic developments and allied features thereof in developing different segments of the economy in their own specific needs for affecting the overall growth and development supported by infrastructure and targeted subsidised measures.
Talking to Business Recorder, he said that the model could always provide inputs for considering structuring of developments of economic management in Pakistan. This benefit will help the delegates to prepare and fine tune their working as recommendations for the Ministry of Commerce and other ministries in considering the local trajectory of development which may be similar in most of the cases and may be amended for adoption due to increased sense and obligations of conducting the trade in the international trading rule on similar grounds providing very few exceptions including for Pakistan.
Ukraine, he said was preparing for free trade, customs union agreements which experiences together gave in sight of dismantling of barriers in the way of trade, harmonise the legislative work and adopt the legal courses of others so that the cohesion became the basis of generating level playing field for conducting trade and business in just & fair way to benefit bilateral, plulateral and multilateral trading amongst the signatory partners. Pakistan has similar situation to conduct the research on experiences of others for possible gainful adoptions in the interest of required economic developments.
Delegates of Pakistan, he said had the pleasure of the meeting the Prime Minister of Ukraine on the reception day and his imparting knowledge also provided a basis of better understanding of the Ukrainian approach for considering modifications in our own structural approaches for denting the flexibility to seek better way of considering recommendation of economic management required by the public sector of Pakistan.
Engr Jabbar said the conference was attended by the President of chambers of different countries as well as by Ukraine Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The presence of American Business Chamber of Commerce and Industry, former President of European Parliament, Prime Ministers of Montenegro, Lithuania and many other high profile positioned persons from abroad and from within graced the occasion as interventionists, discussants, panellist which together provided a knowledge to the delegates from Pakistan sufficient enough to consider the appropriate recommendations and move forward in preparing suggestions of political economy specific to Pakistan by just reformation of the domestic input requirements of total frame work consideration by such high profile business minds sharing their views in the annual conference.
He said that on the development needs of Ukraine for agriculture, the same could act as an advisory compulsion to engage public and private sector dialogues between both countries to improve our agriculture. Pakistan is agri economy, which generates the agri value added textile and needs to increase it’s per acre yield as well as needs to improve quality of agri produce to comply the importing requirements of the country on sanitary and phytosanitary barriers. Ukraine is doing so and we can share the same with the Ukrainian experiences as how they are making settlements of sanitary and phytosanitary barriers.
He said every 11th ton of grain in the world market came from Ukraine with the population of 45 million people. The Prime Minister made a statement that the government will support almost all branches of agriculture as a part of national economic development intensification programme for 2013-14. The exports of Ukraine in 2012 climbed by 40 percent with share of agriculture in GDP registering 11 percent.
Pakistan with the agriculture share of 23 percent of the GDP struggles for food security and yet to access to meet requirements of improvements in exports and value add the agri produce through allied industries which again remains to be achieved and strategize as a policy paradigm. The Ukraine trade in grain is 9.2 percent of the world grain trade. With agriculture exports reaching 22 billion US dollar a year affecting the increase in the budget revenues.
The most interesting panel discussion revolved around “Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Zone between Ukraine and the EU: Prospects for business and investments” and “Development of the Customs Union and economic integration of CIS countries: Prospects for the Ukrainian business”.
Both these discussion had a diversified approaches which would give an advantage to understand the over and under advantages of conducting free trade with either of the block or concluding to prefer the one block over another block. Engr Jabbar said the state programme of Ukraine was to include taking measures to balance state finances with real capacity of the economy and to prevent economically unreasonable tax deductions. Pakistan may consider following this base line. It also includes introduction of mechanisms for remote liaison between taxpayer and competent authorities, which Pakistan as a policy has been making advocacy for real implementation.
It also includes approval of law under which business operations that fall under minor or average risk level may terminate under a relevant court decision only, which we also in Pakistan need to improve the business management and governance by protecting the apprehended risks. The Prime Minister of Ukraine has offered to businessmen that government is open for ongoing dialogue with business to commonly find additional measures required to improve business conditions. “We in Pakistan should also develop our integration with high offices of public sector so that continuation of dialogue as per changing environment becomes result oriented to positively affect trade and business in Pakistan.
We have learnt a lot out of panel discussions on “Presentation and discussion on the participation of business and investors in the implementation of the State activation program of the economic development of Ukraine for 2013-14.” He said that 73 measures with specific directions as smoothening and catalysts to increase the trade and business were worth considering for customised needs of Pakistan, he said.


Agriculture department asked to enhance production of commodity, livestock

June 19, 2013

Punjab Minister for Agriculture Dr Farrukh Javed has directed the provincial agriculture department to take effective steps for developing commodity markets of the province on latest lines and enhancing agricultural produce exports. He was speaking at a meeting of senior officers of departments of agriculture and livestock, exporters of agricultural commodities and growers held at the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) here on Tuesday. Agriculture department asked to enhance production of commodity, livestock
The meeting was attended by the Punjab Agriculture Secretary Momin Agha, Secretary Livestock Muhammad Irfan Elahi, Additional Secretary Ameer Khattak, Director General Livestock Dr Muhammad Nawaz Saeed and Co-ordinator supply chain improvement project Kashif Jamshed. Exporters and growers came from across the province apprised the minister about impediments in the way of increasing production in agriculture and livestock sectors and enhancing agri produce exports.
They demanded immediate steps to enhance shelf life of agricultural produce especially of fruits and vegetables so as to earn precious foreign exchange for the country. Secretary Livestock Muhammad Irfan Elahi informed the meeting that a new law is being enacted for cattle markets which will be enforced soon. Secretary Agriculture said that a detailed meeting of producers and exporters will soon be convened to set export targets of different agricultural products and to devise a strategy for achieving these targets. He also directed the officials to resolve the issues in the way of enhancing livestock and agricultural exports. He also called for taking measures to enhance production of citrus and mangoes and removing impediments in the way of their exports.


Nutrient Management for Sunflower Production

Fertilizer management is an important part for sunflower production and one must know how input affects the crop and soil traits. Determination of optimum fertilizer rates is important because of increasing economic and environmental concerns. This study was therefore conducted to determine optimum fertilizer and manure requirement for sunflower production. In this regard, three field experiments were conducted at Students Farm, Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam, Pakistan, located at 25o25’60’N 68o31’ 60E, altitude 19.5 m asl. In all the experiments sunflower variety HO-1 was sown in rows (75 cm spacing). The experiment-1, was meant to evaluate NPK, Zn and B requirements for sunflower production. The treatments consisted: Factor-A=Seasons (Spring and Autumn), Factor-B NPK Levels (0-0-0 NPK kg ha-1, 60-30-30 NPK kg ha-1 (N as broadcast), 90-45-45 NPK kg ha-1 (N as broadcast), 120-60-60 NPK kg ha-1 kg ha-1 (N as broadcast), 60-30-30 NPK kg ha-1 (N as fertigation), 90-45-45 NPK kg ha-1 (N as fertigation) and 120-60-60 NPK kg ha-1 (N as fertigation) and Factor-C (zinc and boron levels (0-0, 10.0-1.5, 10.0-2.0, 15.0-1.5,, 20.0-1.5 and 20.0-2.0 Zn+B kg ha-1). The results recorded taller plants (207.2 cm), maximum stem girth (12.2 cm), better head diameter (23.0 cm), more seeds head-1 (696.4), heavier seeds weight head-1 (49.0 g), bolder seed index (71.2 g), maximum seed yield (2743.0 kg ha-1) and higher dry matter (11666.7 kg ha-1), higher N-uptake (70.2 kg ha-1), P-uptake (19.1 kg ha-1), K-uptake (93.9 kg ha-1), Zn-uptake (335.8 g ha-1) and B-uptake (199.2 g ha-1) under application of 90-45- 45 NPK x 15-1.5 Zn-B kg ha-1 (N applied as fertigation). Similarly, higher values of physiological traits at flowering phase i.e dry matter (1353.0 g m-2), leaf area index (5.7), leaf area duration (55.6 days), crop growth rate (8.7 g m-2 day-1) and net assimilation rate (24.3 g m-2 day-1) were also noted for the same treatement.

sunflower1However, oil content in this Interactive effect showed non-significant differences. The regression coefficient (b) revealed that a unit increase in various traits resulted in corresponding increase of sunflower seed yield by head diameter (101.2 kg ha-1) seeds head-1 (6.2 kg ha-1), seed weight head-1 (55.2 kg ha-1), seed index (58.2 kg ha-1), dry matter (0.3 kg ha-1), leaf area index (1108.3 kg ha-1), leaf area duration (113.4 kg ha-1), crop growth rate (378.4 kg ha-1), net assimilation rate (213.7 kg ha-1), nitrogen uptake (27.4 kg ha-1), phosphorus uptake (131.8 kg ha-1), potassium uptake (32.4 kg ha-1), zinc uptake (6.5 kg ha-1) and boron uptake (10.9 kg ha-1). However, a unit increase in seed oil content resulted corresponding decrease in seed yield by 1339.2 kg ha-1. The experiment-2, involved “Integrated use of organic manures and inorganic fertilizers nutrients for sunflower production” The treatments consisted: no manure, cattle manure (5, 10 and 15 tons ha-1) and poultry manure (5, 10 and 15 tons ha-1) with 90-45- 45 NPK + 15 Zn + 1.5 B (kg ha-1). The results of the study showed that the incorporation of fertilizers and manures significantly enhanced all the crop parameters. The taller plants (232.3, 231.2 cm), more stem girth (13.9, 13.9 cm), maximum head diameter (27.1 and 26.5 cm), higher number of seeds head-1 (801.9 and 797.9), heavier seed weight head-1 (66.6 and 65.9 g) bolder seed index (83.2 and 83.0), superior seed yield (3681.8 and 3643.2 kg ha-1) and higher dry matter at harvest (12859.3 and 12845.0 kg ha-1), higher Nuptake (80.7 and 82.2 kg ha-1), P-uptake (24.2 and 24.5 kg ha-1), K-uptake (114.2 and 114.0 kg ha-1), Zn-uptake (531.9 and 530.4 g ha-1) and B-uptake (320.4 and 314.9 g ha-1), higher dry matter (2075.0 and 2066.7 g m-2), maximum leaf area index (7.2 and 7.2), greater leaf area duration (67.4 and 67.3 days), more crop growth rate (10.3 and 10.2 g m- 2 day-1) and superior net assimilation rate (30.7 and 30.7 g m-2day-1) were recorded under cattle manure 10 t ha-1 + 90-45-45 NPK + 15-1.5 Zn-B kg ha-1 and poultry manure 5 t ha-1 + 90-45-45 NPK + 15-1.5 Zn-B kg ha-1, respectively, where N was applied as fertigation. Whereas, seed oil content showed inverse relationship under higher applications of inorganic fertilizers and manures. It was observed that application of poultry manure at 5 tha-1 or cattle manure at 10 t ha-1 with 90-45-45 NPK + 15-1.5 Zn-B kg ha-1 significantly enhanced all these traits and beyond these treatments no significant differences were exhibited even at higher levels of manures and were economically optimum levels for achieving satisfactory crop parameters. The regression coefficient indicates that a unit increase in various traits resulted in corresponding increase of sunflower seed yield by head diameter (150.0 kg ha-1) seeds head-1 (6.5 kg ha-1), seed weight head-1 (53.1 kg ha-1), seed index (62.8 kg ha-1), dry matter (0.4 kg ha-1), leaf area index (1027.5 kg ha-1), leaf area duration (116.0 kg ha-1), crop growth rate (469.9 kg ha-1), net assimilation rate (218.3 kg ha-1), nitrogen uptake (36.1 kg ha-1), phosphorus uptake (172.1 kg ha-1), potassium uptake (40.4 kg ha-1), zinc uptake (5.9 kg ha-1) and boron (9.5 kg ha-1). However, a unit increase in oil content resulted corresponding decrease in seed yield by (1546.3 kg ha-1). The experiment-3 entitled “residual effect of organic manures and supplemental inorganic fertilizers on sunflower production” revealed prolonged maturity (99.3 and 99.33 days), taller plants (258.1 and 256.9 cm), more stem girth (16.2 and 16.2 cm), maximum head diameter (31.1 and 31.0 cm), higher number of seeds head-1 (888.1 and 884.2), heavier seed weight head-1 (80.1 and 79.7 g) bolder seed index (90.9 and 92.0 g), superior seed yield (4420.2 and 4450.4 kg ha-1) and higher dry matter (14395.9 and 14381.2 kg ha-1), higher N-uptake (100.9 and 100.3 kg ha-1), P-uptake (33.9 and 33.7 kg ha-1), K-uptake (159.1 and 158.8, kg ha-1), Zn-uptake (603.0 and 605.1g ha-1), B-uptake (361.0 and 364.7 g ha-1), maximum leaf area index (7.9 and 7.9), greater leaf area duration (76.0 and 75.8, days), higher dry matter (2808.7 and 2740.4 g m-2), more crop growth rate (12.1 and 12.0 g m-2 day-1) and superior net assimilation rate (36.9 and 36.0 g m-2day-1) were recorded under residual cattle manure 10 t ha-1 + 90-45-45 NPK + 15-1.5 Zn-B kg ha-1 and residual poultry manure 5 t ha-1 + 90-45-45 NPK + 15-1.5 Zn-B kg ha-1 respectively where N applied as fertigation and beyond these treatments no significant increase in all the crop traits was noted. The regression coefficients indicate a unit increase in various traits resulted in corresponding increase of sunflower seed yield by head diameter (157.2 kg ha-1) seeds head-1 (7.3 kg ha-1), seed weight head-1 (53.7 kg ha-1), seed index (67.9 kg ha-1), dry matter (0.4 kg ha-1), leaf area index (1064.0 kg ha-1), leaf area duration (111.2 kg ha-1), crop growth rate (456.8 kg ha-1), net assimilation rate (195.3 kg ha-1), nitrogen uptake (36.0 kg ha-1), phosphorus uptake (143.0 kg ha-1), potassium uptake (33.3 kg ha-1), zinc uptake (6.5 kg ha-1) and boron (10.3 kg ha-1), however, a unit increase in oil content resulted in corresponding decrease in seed yield by 2037.6 kg ha-1. It is concluded that the fertilizers and manures enhanced all the crop traits, nutrient uptake and improved soil fertility. The application of NPK (90-45-45 kg ha-1, N applied as fertigation) + Zn+B (15+1.5 kg ha-1) with 10 t ha-1 of cattle or 5 t ha-1 poultry manure for their residual effect in the subsequent crop were superior and optimum fertilizer and manure doses for sunflower production without degrading fertility of soil. It is suggested that any source of well decomposed organic manures could be incorporated in the field to enrich the soil fertility on long term basis and higher sunflower production. Thus, it is recommended that sunflower crop should be fertilized with incorporation of NPK (90-45-45 kg ha-1, N as fertigation) + Zn+B (15+1.5 kg ha-1) with 10 t ha-1 cattle or 5 t ha-1 poultry manures for satisfactory yield and maintenance of soil fertility.

Source: SIDDIQUI, MUZZAMMIL HUSSAIN (2010) Nutrient Management for Sunflower Production. PhD thesis, Sindh Agriculture University, Tando Jam