What is organic farming?

Natural or Organic cultivating is a strategy for yield and animals creation that includes significantly more than picking not to utilize pesticides, composts, hereditarily altered living beings, anti-infection agents and development hormones.

Naturally generation is a comprehensive framework intended to streamline the profitability and wellness of differing groups inside the agro-biological system, including soil life forms, plants, domesticated animals and individuals. The central objective of natural creation is to create ventures that are feasible and concordant with the earth.

The general standards of natural creation, from the Canadian Natural Benchmarks (2006), incorporate the accompanying:

ensure the earth, limit soil debasement and disintegration, diminish contamination, upgrade organic efficiency and advance a sound condition of wellbeing

keep up long haul soil richness by enhancing conditions for natural action inside the dirt

keep up organic decent variety inside the framework

reuse materials and assets to the best degree conceivable inside the venture

give mindful care that advances the wellbeing and meets the behavioral needs of domesticated animals

get ready natural items, stressing cautious preparing, and dealing with strategies so as to keep up the natural trustworthiness and indispensable characteristics of the items at all phases of creation

depend on inexhaustible assets in privately composed agrarian frameworks.

Natural cultivating advances the utilization of harvest pivots and cover edits, and empowers adjusted host/predator connections. Natural deposits and supplements created on the ranch are reused back to the dirt. Cover edits and treated the soil fertilizer are utilized to keep up soil natural issue and ripeness. Protection bug and malady control techniques are worked on, including crop pivot, enhanced hereditary qualities and safe assortments. Coordinated irritation and weed administration, and soil preservation frameworks are important devices on a natural homestead. Naturally affirmed pesticides incorporate “regular” or other nuisance administration items incorporated into the Allowed Substances Rundown (PSL) of the natural norms. The Allowed Substances Rundown distinguishes substances allowed for use as a pesticides in natural farming. All grains, rummages and protein supplements sustained to animals must be naturally developed.The natural models for the most part restrict results of hereditary designing and creature cloning, engineered pesticides, manufactured manures, sewage muck, engineered drugs, engineered sustenance handling helps and fixings, and ionizing radiation. Restricted items and practices must not be utilized on affirmed natural homesteads for no less than three years before gather of the confirmed natural items. Domesticated animals must be raised naturally and sustained 100 for each penny natural bolster fixings.

Natural cultivating presents many difficulties. A few yields are more testing than others to develop naturally; in any case, almost every item can be delivered naturally.

Living mulch builds profits

Living mulch capacities like mulch on any ranch or garden with the exception of – it’s alive. No, it’s not out of the most recent blood and guts film; living mulch is a framework agriculturists can use to profit the two benefits and the dirt. While the framework has been around for some time, researchers at the College of Georgia are making it more productive and feasible.

The living mulch framework utilizes a perpetual plant between lines of harvests. In their work, the Georgia analysts utilized white clover between columns of corn. White clover is a vegetable and can supply nitrogen compost to the product. The thought is that each planting season, agriculturists expel a segment of the clover and plant the column edit in that spot. While the corn develops, there is then clover between the columns filling in as living mulch.

Preferably, after the corn is gathered, the clover assumes control over the entire field and the cycle begins again the following developing season, with the rancher evacuating segments of the clover to plant corn. In any case, this procedure isn’t flawless and frequently the living mulch neglects to completely re-build up. The researchers in Georgia are attempting to change that.

“We picked white clover especially to use as living mulch since it has the capacity to regrow and restore itself when the conditions are correct, and to propagate itself from year to year,” says Nicholas Slope, lead analyst. “We needed to begin characterizing what the conditions were from the viewpoint of agrarian practices that could enable the clover to regrow year-to-year in a corn generation framework.”

The researchers for the most part took a gander at two unique factors: how wide of a band of clover to shower with herbicide and after that how wide to make the columns of corn. They found the perfect band to splash with herbicide was 20 cm (8″) wide and the perfect harvest push width was 90 cm (36″).

“The entire thought is to strike a harmony between having the clover have the capacity to restore, keeping it from outcompeting the corn, and having the capacity to deliver enough corn to make a benefit,” clarifies Slope. “In more extensive lines, all the more light infiltrates the corn to get to the clover later in the year and it can hold on somewhat more, while in limit columns it doesn’t. And after that in the event that we splash excessively of the clover to plant the corn, it won’t have the capacity to restore after gather. Be that as it may, on the off chance that we splash too little it’ll outcompete the corn in the lines.”

Getting this exercise in careful control right can be extremely valuable to the cover edit (the clover), the column trim (the corn), and the rancher. When dispersing conditions are perfect, the shading qualities of the corn over the clover control the supplement arrival of the clover to the corn. The clover reacts to shade by dropping its leaves onto the dirt. Those deteriorate and add supplements to the dirt that the corn can utilize. Slope depicts it as a period discharge container of compost. That implies less connected compost from the rancher.

Moreover, the perfect mix of conditions keeps the clover from outcompeting the corn yet doesn’t do as such much harm that when the corn is gone the clover can’t assume control over the field after the developing season. The scientists’ objective was to get up to 100% clover cover, and they could accomplish that.

The analysts found the living mulch framework produces somewhat less corn than more regular frameworks. Nonetheless, the cost reserve funds from the framework exceed the lower creation. Slope reports that they connected 75-80% less herbicide to the field, on account of the clover outcompeting hurtful weeds, and less nitrogen compost as a result of the supplements the corn gets from the clover. So the agriculturist can wind up profiting.

“Living mulch is the best thing since cut bread,” Slope says. “We are seeing a great deal of advantages. It can profit the corn, the dirt, and the business, so it’s truly a win-win-win circumstance we’re attempting to scale up for ranchers to utilize. We are starting to study and report these advantages and will keep on carrying out research on living mulch.”

#Mulch #Living #Profit

Cotton exports begin, price up by Rs 100 per maund

The cotton price in the country has risen sharply after receiving high orders from the overseas buyers, which increase the prospects for higher exports in the current financial year.

Ahsanulhaq, chairman of the Cotton ginners Forum, said the price of cotton had reached Rs6400 after an increase of Rs100 per meter while the price of lint cotton also increased.

Pakistan has received offers and now the export of raw cotton to Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam was initiated, which led to a rising price for the goods.

The temperature in Punjab and Sindh cotton has also been adjusted, which caused the attack of pests, in particular white flies, in the mounting areas.

The chairman said that cotton production had healthy signs and that the goods rose by 37 per cent by 15 October 2017, following the recent arrival of the Cotton Coffers Association.

The country’s production reached a milestone of 5.984 million bales, while cotton production in Punjab rose 55 percent to 3 million bales, while the field from Sindh production rose 22 percent to 2.9 million bales. Pakistan cottonyear starts from July to April.

Source: Pakistan Observer

Integrated weed management in rice

Unwanted plants in crop commonly called weeds reduces the yield and the quality of a harvest. It also increases production costs. In the case of paddy, the yield drops by 15-20% and sometimes even 50%.

A harvest that is heavily infested with weeds usually fails in its entirety. Every year there is a huge loss of rice, while the quality of the products from the weed-infected fields is also inferior. These also hamper the harvest.

Weed Competition: Weeds compete with desirable plants. The contest designates a relationship between the same or different species that leads to the blossoming of one at the expense of the other or at the expense of both.

While weed control with rice does not normally lead to the death of one of the two species, this results in almost reduced yields. Weeds are known, but the extent of the problem they represent is not recognized. Farmers recognize the problem in their fields, but the high labor costs for hand washing prevent proper reaction.

The competition between weeds and rice depends on the following influences:

  1. Relative growth stages of rice and weeds.
  2. Type of orientation (transplant versus direct sowing).

iii. Density of the planting.

  1. Rice variety.
  2. Moisture and nutrient availability.

In irrigated systems, rice seedlings are transplanted in puddle soil. This gives rice a significant lead over weeds and initially the contest is minimal. The competition is increasing as growth continues, especially in direct sowing, as weeds germinate at the same time and compete with the reed seedlings for light and nutrients. Weed competition generally has three forms:

Competition for light: weeds, which during the growth period are shorter than Reisernte, compete a little or not with rice for light. However, weeds that are larger can reduce the light available for rice by up to 50 percent. Since sunlight is the main source of energy used by plants for the production of foodstuffs, the shading of high weeds can stagnate growth and reduce yields.

Competition for water: where there is abundant water, the competition between rice and weeds is minimal, but in the case of scarcity, the situation is quite different. When weeds consume a considerable portion of the water, tillering, flowering and grain filling are delayed or hindered.

Competition for nutrients: weeds have a high need for nutrients. They are large feeders and, if left unchecked, can absorb more nutrients than the crop. Fertility increases, although fertilization is generally associated with an increase in weeds, which can result in greater yield reduction.

Reduction of cereal quality: Weed seeds in cereals lower the price. Weed seeds in cereals can also result in uneven moisture in the grain resulting in quality losses due to the formation of mold and / or cracking during milling.

In addition to competition with rice for sunlight, water and nutrients, weeds pose another problem. Many weed species function as alternative hosts to insect pests and disease-causing organisms, and their presence under crops or along ramparts and peripheries can result in losses due to insect or disease attacks increase.

Why are some weeds successful?

Weeds become successful because of their properties, which give them the ability to:

  1. Put in seeds before the harvest is ripe.
  2. Produce large quantities of seeds (for example, Cyperus difformis can put 100,000 seeds per plant).

iii. Seeds survive in the soil.

  1. Vegetative proliferation, which promotes their proliferation and makes them difficult to control.
  2. Imitating the harvest (eg red rice – which can not be distinguished from the harvest in early stages, but sets seeds and then breaks down before the harvest is harvested).
  3. Grow vigorously, allowing them to exceed the harvest.

Integrated weed management: Integrated weed management uses a combination of different agronomic methods to control weeds, reducing dependence on a weed control method.

Reducing dependence on one or two specific weed control techniques means that these techniques or tools will be effective for future use. The goal of integrated weed management is to keep the weed densities at manageable levels and at the same time to prevent the populations from shifting into difficult-to-control populations. Weeds caused by weeds are minimized without reducing agricultural income.

Controlling with one or two techniques gives the weeds a chance to adapt to these practices. For example, the use of herbicides with the same mode of action has led to weeds that are resistant to these herbicides year after year.

Integrated management uses a variety of techniques to get weeds out of balance. Weeds are less able to adapt to a constantly changing system that uses many different control practices, as opposed to a program that needs one or two control tools. Integrated weed management practices in rice include:

Soil preparation: Thorough soil preparation can significantly reduce the incidence of weeds in rice by destroying all weeds and weeds in order to provide weed free conditions at the time of planting and to provide a good environment for rapid growth of reed seedlings.

Water Management: Many weeds can not germinate or grow in flooded soils, which makes water management a very effective tool for controlling grasses and sedges.

Once the transplanted seedlings have established (approximately one week after the transplant), they completely flood the plot to a depth of 3 to 4 inches to inhibit weed growth. When the rice grows, gradually increase the depth to 6 “. The soil must be completely and continuously submerged if the flooding is to take effect.

Hand-weeding: hand-weeding is time-consuming and lengthy. When weeds are large enough to be grasped, they are pulled out of the ground and discarded. Smaller weeds can be pulled by hand. Early hand weeding is better, since any delay can absorb the weed absorbing nutrients.

A common mistake is that small weeds do not affect the rice, but they certainly do it, as a simple jentemonstration will show.

Hand Chopping: Hand chopping is used as a method of weed control, especially during planting. Hand chopping is faster than hand washing and works well against creeping perennials.

Fruit Seed: Since each plant has its own characteristic weed, the continued cultivation of the same fruit in an action can build up these weeds. The rotation of rice with kharif cultures can lead to a reduced incidence of water-incompatible weeds in the following crops.

Fruit Seed with Allelopathic Cultures and Reiskulturen: Some crops such as sorghum, pearl millet and maize can drastically suppress the weed population and reduce their biomass. Bearded millet may have a rest herb suppression in the following crop. The inclusion of these fodder plants prior to rice harvesting in a rice-wheat rotation can provide a satisfactory control of the weeds and minimize the use of herbicides. It is obviously necessary to evaluate whether these crops can be successfully grown.

Herbicides: The importance of using herbicides is closely linked to labor costs and availability. Herbicides are one of the first labor-saving technologies that must be adopted when labor costs rise. As a result, the use of herbicides varies widely across countries. Herbicides replace weeding by hand and allow direct sowing instead of a transplantation that is less labor intensive.

The direct sowing is linked to the use of herbicides, since without its use the weeds in the stadiums in which the fields can be flooded grow so fast that manual control possibilities are often not possible.

Herbicides are also used in the transplanted systems. The costs associated with the use of herbicides should continue to be a major constraint on their widespread use. Herbicides can be classified as nonselective or selective and before and after emergence.

Most herbicides used in rice production are selective and control some or most of the weeds while they have a limited effect on the culture. The selectivity does not necessarily depend on the connections, but also on the speeds, timing, and application procedures, and therefore it is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.[social_warfare]

Non-selective herbicides such as glyphosate are sometimes used prior to the establishment of rice in weed infestations such as wild rice, which is difficult to control with selective herbicides.

Pre-emergence herbicides are applied to the soil and combated weeds before they arise while they are applied after emergence onto weeds after they have been formed. The amide groups include the herbicides butachlor, pretilachlor and propanil. Butachlor can be used either in the pre-emergence or early after emergence to allow control over a wide range of one-year-old grasses and some broad-leaved weeds.

Chinese-led infrastructure boom mostly bypasses Pakistan’s banks

Karachi – China’s ambitious $55 billion infrastructure project that’s underway throughout Pakistan is in danger of becoming a non-event for the South Asian nation’s banks.

China President Xi Jinping’s multi-billion dollar economic corridor, part of his ‘Belt and Road’ initiative, has been viewed as a game-changer for Pakistan . Yet while local banks are keenly waiting to get their share of the pie, holding more than $20 billion for potential financing, much of its has already been filled by the Chinese with Pakistani lenders getting little look in. So far local funding only amounts to about $474 million, according to Saad Hashemy, research director at Karachi brokerage Topline Securities. “As of now around $6 billion to $7 billion worth of projects are likely going on,” Hashemy said. “Out of that 10 percent, or around Rs50 billion, can be local financing.”

The lack of Pakistani input into the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which the government says will drive economic growth to a targeted 6 percent this fiscal year, adds to concerns that its benefits may not be as widely distributed as initially thought. It runs the risk that Pakistan will be left paying interest on loans to Chinese banks way into the future. “It seems the lion’s share of CPEC financing will come from China itself,” said Bilal Khan, a senior economist at Standard Chartered Plc. At $3.5 billion, the Thar coal mine is one of the most expensive energy projects China is financing in Pakistanand is expected to generate 1.3GW of electricity in coal-fired power stations. China has also agreed to lend $5.5 billion for a significant upgrade of the nation’s rail system.

Bankers including Standard Chartered’s Chief Executive Officer Bill Winters, who visited Pakistan in March, are eager to finance Chinese projects. Meanwhile, local lenders, both Islamic and conventional, are keen to deploy funds after parking much of their advances in government securities, holding 82 percent of the total Rs9.26 trillion of local securities.

Shaukat Tarin, a former finance minister and an adviser to Silkbank Ltd, said conventional Pakistan lenders could lend as much as Rs1.7 trillion to the projects. Islamic banks are also holding surplus liquidity of about Rs500 billion, according to Ahmed Ali Siddiqui, head of product development at Meezan Bank Ltd, the nation’s largest Sharia-compliant bank.

“They have that surplus liquidity and need such avenues,” said Tarin. “The question is how much are we involving the private sector at the government level in it, let alone the local banks? We aren’t.” It means Pakistan’s banks will have minimal opportunities for direct financing in CPEC projects, said Amreen Soorani, a senior analyst at Karachi-based JS Global Capital Ltd.

Still, State Bank of Pakistan Governor Tariq Bajwa is positive about its impact. “As a developing country, do we have the space within our budget or would we have to borrow?” Bajwa said in an interview in Washington earlier this month. “I think if you want to jump the curve you have to borrow and here is money that has been made available to us.”

When the project was announced in Islamabad two years ago by Xi and Pakistan’s then prime minister Nawaz Sharif, it was anticipated it would mostly be funded with Chinesemoney. Pakistan wasn’t in a position to deploy the necessary capital after taking an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout in 2013.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China – the nation’s biggest lender – signed deals worth over $4.5 billion in 2015. Meanwhile, the China Development Bank is providing $7.9 billion, according to a report by the state-run China News Service on Tuesday, and Bank of China said it has lent more than $80 billion as of the end of June. The financing demand has since increased from over $40 billion in 2015 to $62 billion in 2017, and the majority of funding so far has come from Chinese banks, said Norman Sze, national leader of the government affair unit of Deloitte China. “The finance sector in Pakistan is not very advanced and mature,” Sze said. “They could participate into the projects, but it would be difficult for them to meet such a huge financing demand.”

There’s also been criticism over China’s decision to import goods and labour for the projects at the expense of the local market, using a similar model to some of its investments in countries across Africa. “CPEC, if it’s not exports-focused, cannot succeed for Pakistan ,” said Mushtaq Khan, chief economist at Bank Alfalah Ltd.

In a bid to stem these complaints, Chinese engineers at power plants being constructed along the trade corridor are working side-by-side with Pakistani counterparts who, with their increased expertise, are expected to eventually take the helm. And while they may not be directly distributing loans for the new infrastructure , Pakistani banks are positioning themselves to service demand for credit that will flow as economic growth quickens. For now they are still hopeful and looking to increase ties to China. National Bank of Pakistan is one example – it will open branches in Beijing and Shanghai by mid-2018 and is looking to finance agriculture and export projects around the trade corridor.

“We are all set for infrastructure financing,” said Saeed Ahmad, chief executive officer of National Bank over the phone from Karachi. “Local businessmen should get the opportunity, so not only Chinese investors” benefit from CPEC.

Source The Nation

Soyabean, palm oil imports increase in first quarter

ISLAMABAD: Edible oil imports including soybean and palm into the country during first quarter of current financial year grew by 78.11 percent and 38.53 percent respectively as compare to the imports of the corresponding period of last year.

During the period from July-September, 2017-18 about 101,094 metric tons of soyabean oil valuing US$ 77.155 million imported to fulfill the local consumptions as compared the imports of 24,485 metric tons worth of US$ 43.297 million of the same period last year.

According the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, about 721,097 metric tons of palm oil costing US$ 510.308 million imported in first three months as compared the import of 542,145 metric tons valuing US$ 368.383 million of same period last year.

Meanwhile, tea import into the country during firs quarter also grew by 2 percent and reached at US$ 77.115 million as against the import of US$ 134.448 million of same period last year.

Around 48,794 metric tons of tea imported during last three months as compared the imports of 54,962 metric tons of same period last year.

In last three months of current financial year, about 49,330 metric tons of spices worth US$ 46.439 million imported as compared the imports of 34,322 metric tons valuing US$ 30.631 million of same period last year.

Source Business Recorder

Effect of endophytic fungi on growth, production and quality of watermelon under greenhouse conditions

Effect of endophytic fungi on growth, production and quality of watermelon under greenhouse conditions
Muhammad Awais Khan1, Rashad Mukhtar Balal1 , Muhammad Adnan Shahid1,3 , Muhammad Zubair1
, Mujahid Ali2 and Muhammad Wajid Khan1

1. Department of Horticulture, University College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha
2. Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad
3. Horticultural Sciences Department, Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences, University
of Florida, Florida, USA.
(Date of Submission: (27/10/2017)
Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is an annual crop belong to Cucurbitaceae family. Watermelon is cultivated on an area of 7.12% the world (FAO, 2017). The cultivated species are diploid with 22 number of chromosomes. This crop is native to tropical Africa (Carroll, 1988). It can also grow in dry areas and sandy of southern Africa especially in Kalhari desert. It has been cultivated on commercial level in more than 96 countries of the world including Pakistan. It is planted mid-December to March, and is harvested in May to July 15. The world production of watermelon is about 93.7 thousand million tons. China is the largest producer of the watermelon in the world with annual production of 66434289 metric tons (FAO, 2017). It is mostly used as a fresh fruit, across the world. It is rich of nutrients especially good source of carbohydrates, protein, dietary, fiber, sodium, vitamin A, niacin, pantothenic acid, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium and carotenoids etc. High water contents are present that are approximately up to 92 %. Texture of flesh is good and is very favorite for the people living in deserts as a thirst quenching fruit. It contains very high level of naturally produced lycopene that is considered as an antioxidant that helps the human body to fight against cancer and to prevent diseases. Lycopene is present only in selected vegetables and fruits and is considered very effective in trapping the cancer promoting against that are called as free oxygen radicals. High quantity of toxic matter is present in human body that is reduced by the action of antioxidants
present in watermelon, which results in the reduction of asthma attack. It is rich in vitamin C and beta carotene content and shows wonderful effects in term of quenching diseases. Its juice is an effective too in aiding the water elimination from the body, fluid retention, itchiness and skin blemish (NRC, 2012).
It requires warm climate and relatively long growing season. The potential of watermelon as a cash crop is much for the farmers especially those residing near the urban areas. Its vine has sprawling or climbing nature. Its leaves are large green with 3-5 deep lobes, flowers are with short pedicles. Fruit is medium to large having smooth skin and flesh color can be dark red, red and yellow. Seeds are oval to oblong with a white, gray, red or brown color (Dane and Lang, 2004). Watermelon is a climacteric fruit and is ripening begins with internal production of ethylene, which induces softening of cell walls, production of secondary compounds and changes in sugar content, texture, flavor and aroma of fruit. Orange and white to cream flesh type of watermelons are cultivated in some parts of the world and their flesh is used as vegetable for cooking purposes. Their seeds are also used for the preparation of snacks and sauces after grinding. Seeds are also consumed as source of fat and protein in the diet (Dane et al., 2007).

Watermelon is monoecious as male and female flowers are produced on the same plant. Most of its species produces imperfect type of male and female flowers. At the beginning of flowering, male flower are produce at each node and female flower are produced approximately at every seventh node. Watermelon flowers are viable for only one day, so a sufficient population of pollinating insect are required daily during the flowering season. However under sufficient availability of pollinating agent watermelon flowers abort at an average 2-3 fruit should set per plant. Actual number of fruit set differs from variety to variety, environmental condition, culture practices, number of pollinating insects and number of irrigations (Arnold et al., 2003). The most common definition of endophytic fungi is that of Petrini (1991), “All organisms inhibiting plant organs that at some time in their life, can colonize internal plant tissues without causing apparent harm to the host”. Endophytic fungi are group of fungi that causes infections like asymptomatic infections on aerial tissues of different group of plants. The majority of fungal endophytes are ascomycetes and their anamorphs. Basidiomycetes and zygomycetes rarely are isolated as endophytes (Arnold et al., 2003; Petrini, 1991). Group of these fungi do not affect the plants communities too much. They are not harmful to plants. They provide resistance to plant against insects (Azevedo et al., 2000), fungal pathogens (Arnold et al., 2003). Endophytic fungi increase the plant ability to stand and continue its life cycle in harsh environments (Redman et al., 2002).

The colonization of endophytes and propagation and secondary metabolites which are present inside the plants may be important for above effects. These opinions’ shows that endophytic fungi may be used as biological agents for the control of insects and many diseases.
Moreover, the growers need high yielding and early maturing types of watermelon, which have maximum disease resistance and shelf life. Therefore, evaluation of newly released varieties and advance experimental breeding lines is extremely valuable for growers in the commercial watermelon industry. Furthermore, it is helpful for identifying potential of new cultivars and experimental breeding lines that may be adaptable to growing condition (McCann et al., 2007).
In watermelon, sensory evaluation criteria should be complemented with other parameters for the proper characterization of the product. This involves the determination of soluble solid contents, quantitative and qualitative determination of sugars and measurement of fruit firmness and internal color. The hybrid types of watermelon are mostly diploid and triploid. “Sugar baby” was reported to be the most successful diploid and open-pollinated cultivar. The F1 hybrid is developed from two inbred lines that have been self-pollinated for many generation and then crossed with the consistent sale of the seed to the grower (Messiaen, 2013).
Endophytic fungi live within a plant’s tissue without causing any disease symptoms or apparent injury to the host (Kogel et al., 2006). Older plant parts may harbour more endophytes than younger ones (Arnold et al., 2003). Almost all plant species (400,000) harbour one or more endophytic organisms (Tan and Zou, 2001) but only a small proportion, about 5 % of the existing fungal species are known (Hawksworth, 2001). Shiomi et al. (2006) reported that endophytic fungi are some of the most unexplored and diverse group of organisms that engage in symbiotic associations with higher life forms and may produce beneficial substances for the host crop. Therefore it will be of great necessity if more economically valuable endophytic fungi are identified. Endophytic microorganisms are associated with living tissues, and may in some way contribute to the wellbeing of the plant (Haggag, 2010). Endophytes may facilitate host plants to tolerate and withstand environmental stress such as drought (Malinowski and Belesky, 2000), as well as protect their hosts against pathogens and pests (Arnold et al., 2003 and Akello et al., 2007).

Evaluation of nontraditional vegetables under the climatic conditions of Punjab, Pakistan

Evaluation of nontraditional vegetables under the climatic conditions of Punjab, Pakistan

Muhammad Aamer1, Rashad Mukhtar Balal1, Muhammad Adnan Shahid1,3, Muhammad Zubair1 and Mujahid Ali2

  1. Department of Horticulture, University College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha
  2. Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad
  3. Horticultural Sciences Department, Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Florida, USA.

(Date of Submission: (19/10/2017)

Vegetable production and consumption is of great importance from economic and health point of view in global village. Vegetables constitute a group of foods that are essential to a well-balanced diet. They have special advantage of being cheap and easily available source of carbohydrate, protein, minerals and vitamins (Mohler and Johnson, 2009). Unluckily production of vegetable in Pakistan is very low than its demand. In Pakistan the total area for vegetable cultivation is about 385578 hectare with total production 3116808 tons (FAO, 2017).  Non-traditional vegetable crops are plants that are grown in relatively small quantities and which are not traditionally cultivated in a country or region. They are also sometimes referred to as ‘speciality’ or ‘alternative’ crops, but many people also use the term ‘exotic’. Non-traditional vegetables are distinct from exotic cultivars which are cultivated varieties of traditional crops (i.e., those traditionally grown in a country) but with an exotic origin (Kellm et al., 2015). An example of a non-traditional crop in the Pakistan is Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera) while it is cultivated in many parts of United Kingdom and Europe, it is not traditionally cultivated in the Pakistan. In comparison, an example of a traditional vegetable in Pakistan is okra (Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench), which extensively grown all over the Pakistan and South Asia (Naeem et al., 2006: Pritam et al., 2007).

The movement of crops around the world has been taking place for hundreds of years. And with the passage of time nontraditional vegetables becomes traditional crop of a country after its climatic and local community adaptation for that particular crop. For example cauliflower was not a native crop of Pakistan and after its introduction in Pakistan now it’s being grown on large number of area of Pakistan (Jamil et al., 2005). The minimum daily intake of 400 g of fruits and vegetables has been recommended for good health and general wellbeing (Nishida et al., 2004; Singh and Singh, 2003). Pakistan is blessed with all four seasons and have good potential for cultivation of numerous traditional as well as nontraditional vegetable crops. The cole crops have wide adoptability potential in this region of world. Cole crops are a group of related vegetables belonging to the mustard family, Brassicaceae (formally known as Cruciferae). All cole crops are natural varieties of species Brassica oleraceae. They include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, kohlrabi etc. these vegetables are a good source of nutrients and can be consumed as cooked or fresh as salad like broccoli. All varieties of species Brassica oleraceae have their origin from Europ and Asia and are known as the decedents of wild cabbage. They are hardy cool season vegetables which may be herbaceous annuals, biennials, or perennials (Delahaut and Newenhouse, 1997).

 

Pakistan is an agriculture state (Khan et al., 2010). The budget of the nation fundamentally depends upon agriculture region. It is second biggest segment consuming more than 21 percent GDP impart and assimilates 45 percent of employs in the state. About like 62% of the nation people exists in country side regions and specifically depend upon agricultural science. This part is a real provider of incomes and has complete a big involvement to the downstream businesses and trade of Pakistan. It is a vital source of modern items like compound manures, insecticides, tractors and farm equipment (FAO, 2012). There is a serious necessity to develop crop production to meet the proper climatic and environmental condition which are best suited for agricultural and horticultural products. Mostly cash crops are cultured in Pakistan however development of vegetables is really profitable and helpful project because of their fresh utilization and higher costs. Vegetables are little time crops and expended in different structures like tubers, leaves, blossoms and products of the soil. Vegetables are rich in supplements and strands utilized both cooked and new structures (Doijode, 2001). Minimum daily intake of 400 g of fruits and vegetables has been recommended for good health and general wellbeing of human (Nishida et al., 2004).

 

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var. Italica) is a member of the Brassicaceae family as a wild form of this family, which found along the Mediterranean region. It is an Italian vegetable, native to the Mediterranean region, cultivated in Italy in ancient roman times and about 1720 in England. On the other hand, the USA it first appeared in 1806, but it was commercially cultivated of broccoli was started around 1923 (Decoteau, 2000). In Jordan, broccoli is cultivated on a limited area (Ministry of Agriculture, 2006). However, due to increase in its popularity, there is a trend to increase cultivation by farmers as well as consumption by consumers. Broccoli is an important vegetable crop and has high nutritional and good commercial value (Yoldas et al., 2008). It is low in sodium food, fat free and calories, high in vitamin C and good source of vitamin A, vitamin B2 and calcium (Decoteau, 2000). Nowadays, broccoli attracted more attention due to its multifarious use and great nutritional value (Talalay and Fahey, 2001; Rangkadilok et al., 2004). Cabbage (Brassica oleracea L.) is a member of the cole crops, and it is important fresh and processing vegetable crop in most of the countries of the world. Cole crops are biennials, but are generally grown as annuals. They are suited to the climate of many regions. Cabbage is a vegetable crop and generally is grown in Rabi season in Bangladesh. Growth and yield of canbbage vegetable is remarkably influenced by organic and inorganic nutrients. It is an established fact that use of inorganic fertilizer for the crops is not so good for health because of residual effect but in the case of organic fertilizer such problem does not arise and on the other hand it increase the productivity of soil as well as crop quality and yield (Tindall 2000)

Cabbage is believed to have originated in Western Europe and it was the first cole crop to be cultivated. Prior to cultivation and use as food, cabbage was mainly used for medicinal purposes (Silva 1986). In addition to the fresh market, cabbage is now processed into Kraut, egg rolls and cole slaws and there is the potential for other specialty markets for the various types including red, savoy and mini cabbage. Cabbage is an excellent source of Vitamin C. In addition to containing some B vitamins, cabbage supplies some potassium and calcium to the diet. 250 mL of raw cabbage contains 21 kilocalories and cooked, 58 kilocalories (Haque 2006). Cabbage is an important and nutritious winter leafy vegetable in our country. It contains a range of essential vitamins and minerals as well as small amount of protein and good caloric value. In recent years vegetable consumption has increased and its growth can be effected by changing the planting time (Haque 2005). Kale is related to cabbage, collards, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Kale is especially valuable nutritionally since it supplies important amounts of vitamin A, ascorbic acid and iron. Pound for pound, greens such as kale contain many times more vitamin A than snap beans, sweet corn or green peppers. Varieties are widely diverse, being tall or short, erect or flattened. Seeds of kale may be sown in the spring or in late summer where the plants are to stand, or they may be sown in seedbeds in the greenhouse or hotbed and transplanted to the garden. Plant a spring crop as early as the soil can be prepared. Space plants 8 to 12 inches apart; rows should be 24 to 30 inches apart. Tall-growing types need the wider spacing. Plant seed for the fall crop in late July and August (Durham et al., 2016).

 

Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleraceae var. gemmifera) is a member of cruciferae family and researches on Brussels sprouts became dense on their cancer preventive effects, sowing and planting time, plant density, fertiliz application timing, stopping and relations between temperature and plant development. Epidemiological studies give evidence those cruciferous vegetable human against cancer due to reduction of oxidative DNA damage with their glucosinolate content and also result from animal experiments show that they reduce chemically induced tumer formation (Steinkeliner et al., 2001; zhu et al., 2000). The processing yield, total yield, plant dry weight, leaf thickness, stein weight, leaf weight, root weight, leaf area, net assimilation rate and relative growth rate were influenced by planting time and plant distance in Brussels sprouts and broccoli (Kar and Uzun, 2000; Uzum and kar, 2004). There is a relation between the period of planting to bud initiation and period from panting to optimum harvest date in brussels sprouts. Therefore the time for optimum harvest can thus be predicted after bud initiation, the optimum temperature for curd formation in cauliflower is 12.8 °C. (Everaarts and Sukkel, 1999; Grevsen and Olesen, 1994).

Government plans to curb urban migration

ISLAMABAD: The government is developing strategies to uplift the agriculture sector and boost rural economy to minimise rural to urban migration, Minister for National Food Security, Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan said on Monday.

Speaking at a World Food Day event at the National Agriculture Research Centre, Mr Bosan said the Ministry for National Food Security is prioritising promotion of crop diversification, value-addition, agricultural mechanisation and establishment of small and medium development projects in agribusiness.
Due to increasing rural to urban migration, the agriculture sector of Pakistan is losing out on skilled manpower, he said.
The minister acknowledged that most of the labour force that migrated to cities remained highly food secure.

Improvement of infrastructure in rural areas as well as job creation and business opportunities can help in maintaining the rural-urban migration within the desirable limits, he stressed.

Speaking on the occasion, FAO Representative in Pakistan, Mina Dowlatchahi said the UN body supports countries to invest in livelihoods and build more resilient rural communities. This way, rural people can have the option to remain on their land, or to leave if they want to, the FOA representative added.
Country representative of World Food Programme, Finbarr Curran said the organisation was actively engaged with the government to improve food and nutrition security in the country.
“Ending hunger will require investments in agriculture, rural development, nutrition, social protection and gender equality,” he said.
Stating that migration from rural to urban areas is increasing in the country, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council Chairman, Dr Yusuf Zafar noted that developing disparity between rural and urban areas was impacting the poor rural population in terms of their right to have basic and healthful food.

Source: Dawn