Using knowledge from Nasa, Pakistan’s water analysis agency is sending rain forecasts to 10,000 farmers, serving to them to irrigate more successfully and building up their crop yields. It remains to be beyond farmer Mohammad Ashraf’s comprehension that individuals in Islamabad can are expecting that it is going to rain within the next two days in his village. He may be astonished that, in response to this prediction, they are able to tell him how much he must water his rice and sugarcane plantations.
“I marvel at this science of being able to predict something that is unknown and in God’s hands,” says the 36-year-old farmer, Every Friday, he reads the simple Urdu messages despatched to his telephone, pronouncing things like: “Dear farmer friend, this is to inform you that between 21 and 28 July 2017 in your area (Bahawalnagar) the crops used this much water (cotton 1.6 inch, sugarcane 1.7 inch). Next week, rain is predicted in some parts of your region. Therefore please water your crops accordingly.”.
The textual content messages (or SMS) are sent via the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), a central authority company that carries out water research. Ashraf can be much more flabbergasted if he knew the scientists get this information from space
“Using satellites and models that take the pulse of the earth, we can identify the amount of water a given crop requires at a specific location and a specific time,” says Faisal Hossain, head of the Sustainability, Satellites, Water, and Environment (SASWE) research group on the University of Washington which developed the programme for, “estimating crop water requirement in a cost effective and sustainable manner for the whole country”.
Ashraf, who lives in Hayatpur in Punjab’s Sargodha district, now takes these messages critically. Five years ago, he met water mavens from the PCRWR who were doing a box survey to explore how to enhance groundwater conservation and crop yield. During their surveys, the professionals found that farmers were over-watering their vegetation. They put in a water meter on Ashraf’s 12-acre farm and defined that if the arrow became in opposition to the golf green at the dial, it meant that his land had sufficient water. When the arrow became towards the crimson mark, it was time to water.
“Like every farmer in the village, I did not believe them. We have been farming for generations and know what works and what doesn’t,” Ashraf informed thethirdpole.net. But the following yr, he determined to only water his field when the marker pointed towards the pink. That season he produced extra, spent less on diesel to run the tubewell, and made more profit than somebody within the village. “The others watered their sugarcane fields three times more than I did and not only did my plants grow taller, I had less disease in my crop than the rest.”
Ashraf says that an acre of his land yielded 1,000 maunds (1 maund = 37 kilogrammes) of sugarcane. Each maund offered for PKR 180 (USD 1.70). “I sold my crop for PKR 180,000 (USD 1,700) while most villagers could only sell between PKR 80,000 and 100,000 (USD 755-944). Now a convert, he says he plans heed to every word from PCRWR. “I’d say that 99% of the time they are right on the mark about rain,” he says.
Since remaining year, the PCRWR has sent weekly information to farmers like Ashraf via textual content messages, telling them how a lot water their vegetation want. They also ship them climate forecasts.
“We started with 700 farmers in April 2016, all across Pakistan, and since January this year the number of farmers receiving the messages has increased to 10,000,” says Ahmed Zeeshan Bhatti, deputy director of PCRWR. The company has submitted a proposal to a couple organisations to beef up it in improving the recommendation and expanding the carrier to 100,000 farmers.
“We carried out a survey to gauge the response of the farmers to our advice and the feedback was encouraging,” he says. Between 25 and 30 farmers would name again immediately for additional knowledge. “Our initial telephone survey revealed that farmers are saving almost 40% of water by rationing irrigation,” he says, adding that the carrier is saving round 250 million cubic metres of irrigation water according to 12 months. In the following phase of the programme, the PCRWR desires to train the farmers, as well as the ones operating in the agriculture division, to use research and the meteorological recommendation properly.
“I think the information they send is quite useful for us as by conserving water, our profit margins will be greater,” says 37-year old farmer Mohammad Tariq from Faisalabad. He, alternatively, wishes for more sorts of information akin to when to sow, when to spray with insecticides, how time and again and what seed is just right for which crop.
“Currently, we are totally dependent on whatever the sellers of agri-products tell us about using pesticides and seeds. We just accept whatever they say,” he says. “If it comes from the government agency, it would be authentic.”
“When the British designed the Indus Basin Irrigation System (IBIS) between 1847 to 1947, it was to turn 67% of the basin area into farmland,” said Azeem Shah, regional researcher at Lahore founded International Water Management Institute.
Even after the British left in 1947, the federal government irrigation engineers were adding new dams, barrages, link and department canals to the previous gadget. Today IBIS has three large dams, 80 5 small dams, nineteen barrages, twelve inter-river link canals, forty-five canal instructions and nil.7 million tube wells. Still, say experts, canal irrigation water efficiency may also be greater from the current 33% up to 90% (within the evolved international locations) by repairing leakages in the system, good metering and growing efficient solutions for decreasing the call for for water and on the similar time expanding agricultural productivity.
Further, as of late, stated Shah, the cropping intensity has increased through 150% compared to 1947 with farmers not wanting to depart any fallow land. They also cultivate two or 3 vegetation. “Over the last 70 years, the quantity of the water has remained the same but agriculture is competing with other sectors, such as industry, as well as the growing population,” says Shah. Today, says Shah, kind of 50% of irrigation wishes are met via IBIS canals and 50% is extracted from the ground.
The SMS programme is supported technically and financially by way of the University of Washington’s Global Affairs Department, NASA’s applied sciences programme, the Ivanhoe Foundation and the Pakistan executive. When it began, the PCRWR was providing week-old knowledge, but is now in a position to forecast for the present and the long run. Hossain issues out, however, that even supposing long-term forecasts weren’t presented, temporary weather data would still have value. “Soil moisture has memory and inertia, so knowing how much it has rained and stayed in the soil the previous week is necessary to plan the coming week’s irrigation,” he defined.
The PCRWR is able to get entry to global climate model forecasts with the assistance of the University of Washington, the use of a Chinese type and collaborating with the Pakistan Meteorological Department. “It is thus able to provide quite accurate information,” says Bhatti.
With Pakistan among many nations liable to local weather change and excessive weather prerequisites, using clinical the way to help farmers irrigate their land extra efficiently is all the more important. Will this advice help farmers adapt to or fend off excessive climate phenomena in the years to come?
“That’s the idea,” says Bhatti, including that the advice must assist farmers tackle local weather aberrations like heatwaves, and increased frequency of heavy and intense rainfall.
Hossain is a extra wary: “The skill of general circulation model projections – say into 2040 – is poor and of little empowering value to farmers. We are more focused on providing tactical information, rather than long-term strategic information for adaptation.”
Nor is this the only cellphone-based initiative going down in Pakistan. In the province of Punjab, the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) at the side of the Agriculture Department of Punjab, is partnering with Telenor, a cellular company offering financial services and products to farmers who do not have financial institution accounts. “Not only are we providing interest free loans to smallholder farmers we are providing them advisories on how to improve their yield by using modern agriculture practices and linking them to agriculture experts, research institutions, agriculture extension workers and input providers,” said Uzair Shahid, senior programme manager on the PITB.
Step via small step, the farmers of Pakistan would possibly end up seeing telephone generation as an very important a part of a extra productive long term.
One farmer has pioneered drip irrigation to grow to be wasteland right into a fruit orchard in Punjab – however at a value few can reflect. For so long as Hasan Abdullah can take into accout the 50-acre sandy dune on his 400-acre farmland in Sadiqabad, Pakistan’s Punjab province, was an irritant – nothing grew on it.
His farmland lies beside the vast Cholistan desert in a
canal irrigated area east of the Indus River in Rahim Yar Khan district.
Abdullah inherited it in 2005, when his father kicked the bucket. Until then he
were running in data technology.
In 2015, after a lot research, Abdullah took a “calculated risk” of cultivating the “barren” dune using the drip irrigation system. The government’s announcement of a 60% subsidy on drip irrigation was once “a big incentive,” he stated. Agriculture, via wasteful flood irrigation, accounts for over 80% water utilization in a country dealing with critical water shortages.
Today, Abdullah’s dune is a sight to behold: fruit orchards have flourished within the sand. He admitted that without drip irrigation the “dune would never have produced anything.”
Water combined with fertilizer is performed via pipes with
heads known as drippers, explained Abdullah, which liberate a certain amount of
water according to minute directly to the roots of each plant across the
And because watering is actual, there’s no evaporation, no
run off, and no wastage.
These new water saving techniques can be key to the future survival of Pakistan’s farmers, who face rising water shortages. Pakistan’s in line with capita water availability is very low, but the rural sector is deeply inefficient in its water use and its productiveness is low. Farmers in Punjab, Pakistan’s largest province, develop water in depth plants equivalent to cotton and wheat the use of flood irrigation. Their challenges will most effective grow with climate exchange. The water go with the flow of the Indus River – which the farmers rely on for their water supply – is expected with the speedy retreat of the Himalayan glaciers.
The power of the drip
Using drip irrigation, farmers can save up to 95% of water and cut back fertiliser use, compared to floor irrigation, in keeping with Malik Mohammad Akram, director general of the On Farm Water Management (OFWM) wing in the Punjab government’s agriculture division. In flood irrigation – the traditional method of agriculture within the region – a farmer uses 412,000 litres in keeping with acre, whilst using drip irrigation the similar land can also be irrigated with just 232,000 litres of water, he explained.
The water on Abdullah’s dune is pumped from a canal – which is part of the Indus Basin irrigation device – right into a reservoir constructed at the land. “Being at the tail end [of the canal system], we needed to be assured the availability of water at all times and thus we had to construct a reservoir,” mentioned Abdullah. For years now, farmers on the head of the canals have been “stealing” water causing much misery for farmers downstream.
But drip irrigation is expensive. Out of Abdullah’s 40 acres
of orchards on drip irrigation, 30 acres are on sand dunes and ten acres are on
land adjoining to the dune, locally referred to as “tibba” – a small sand dune
surrounded by agricultural land. On the 30 acre-dune patch, Abdullah grows
oranges on 18, feutral (another number of orange) on some other six acres,
lemons on five acres and on one acre he has experimented with rising olives,
which bore fruit this year.
In took three years of “micromanaging the orchards” earlier
than the orange and olive bushes started fruiting final 12 months. “We hope to
break even this year and next year we should be in profit,” he stated. It will
take every other four years to recoup all his investment, he calculated.
Abdullah was the first farmer to experiment with this new
method. Among many demanding situations that got here his means was to get his
farmhands to know the new method of watering.
Akram has had a equivalent enjoy, “It is difficult for a
traditional farmer to come to terms with it. Unless he sees the soaked soil
with his eyes, he cannot believe the plant has been well watered.”
Solar provides respite
While Abdullah used to be saving water, the price of diesel
for operating water pump was proving astronomical. Abdullah would possibly not
had been ready to hold on farming with drip irrigation had the government now
not introduced an 80% subsidy on solar energy plantsfor farmers in 2018. He
promptly took it up.
“Solar has been a life saver for us,” he mentioned. Not most
effective did the running prices lower significantly, the sun machine paid for
itself in just one year, leaving best the prices of labour, fertilisers and
Cultivating using drip irrigation is also now not labour in depth. Abdullah’s 40-acres are tended to by means of simply four labourers, who no longer most effective look after the orchards and watering device, but manage the solar plant too. “If we were doing traditional farming, our costs would have been much higher. We would need a tractor, six to eight labourers and a lot more water,” he stated
For his orchards, the drip irrigation runs for roughly seven
hours each day. “If it were running on diesel, we would be consuming 35 litres
of diesel a day at the cost of PKR 4,270 (USD 30) per day,” Abdullah estimated.
Furthermore because it’s precision watering to the roots,
weed growth is minimal.
Since he set up his drip machine, Abdullah has gained a path
of tourists. A Young farmer from neighbouring Bahawalpur who visited the dune
in 2015 was so impressed he arrange the drip irrigation over 700 acres of land
he used to be taking a look after for an ex-army officer.
“Ours is the only farm in Pakistan that has set up a drip
irrigation system over such a huge tract – and in the desert too,” said Asif
Riaz Taj, who manages Infiniti Agro and Livestock Farm. Now in their fourth
year, the orchards have began fruiting over 70 acres. But it will now not be
prior to its sixth 12 months, Taj said, that they are going to “break even”.
The drip irrigation and solar plant was put in at a value of PKR 25 million
(USD 174,000), and the per 30 days running value of this farm is almost PKR 4
million (USD 28,000).
Infiniti’s orchards get water from each groundwater the
usage of turbines as well as from the canal. “We have installed a 150 kilowatts
solar plant for extracting water,” stated Taj. The space isn’t totally sandy,
such as the dune on Abdullah’s land, but it is still arid, and advantages
massively from drip irrigation.
Abdullah acknowledged that the drip system required an
enormous preliminary investment and warned that “unless one had strong
financial backing”, it might be difficult.
“Our upfront cost was PKR 3.5 million (USD 25,000), but our
running costs [of farming on the dune and tibba] went up to PKR 10 million (USD
70,621),” he defined. He used to be fortunate he had income coming from his
other just about 400 acres of land the place he grows sugar cane, cotton and
Drip irrigation fails to fly
Despite any such resounding good fortune at Abdullah’s farm,
saving on water and the horny executive subsidies, few farmers are taking to
drip irrigation, stated OFWM’s Akram. Nevertheless since 2012, his department
has installed 50,000 techniques on five,000 sites (with an average dimension of
10 acres). It should have been much more.
“The mindset change from the farmers has been slow and
despite all out efforts we have been unable to push this water-saving
technology,” he admitted.
The installation costs are prohibitively prime despite the
60% subsidy, Akram mentioned. Farmers also say drip irrigation is not
appropriate for a wide variety of irrigation, particularly no longer for row
farming like wheat, maize and rice.
Farmers complain that the agricultural department and the
company don’t provide correct after sales products and services. The untrained
and uneducated farmers have to find answers themselves or are left to the mercy
of the drip machine supplier. Corroborating this, Abdullah stated: “That is one
of the biggest causes of failures.”
Akram vehemently denied this, pronouncing that the each
corporate selling the drip irrigation system and the agriculture division
handhold farmers, coaching them to resolve system faults coming their means.
Abdullah, on the other hand, is likely one of the converts.
He plans to extend the drip irrigation additional for olives and mango orchards
as soon as income are up.
Commercial products that contain various plant extracts such as garlic, hot pepper wax, and cinnamon are available and registered for use on some crops and ornamentals. However, there is very little scientific research that demonstrates the effectiveness of these products, and their modes of action are not understood. Studies are needed to show direct mortality or measurable negative effects from specific botanicals on specific insect pests to make sound pest management decisions (Cloyd et al. 2009). If you are interested in experimenting with essential oil products, contact your county Extension office for guidance.
In addition to its categorization as a botanical, neem is also a plant-derived horticultural oil. The neem tree is native to India and is the source of hundreds of products, including insecticides made from the extracts of the seeds and bark. The primary insecticidal extract is azadirachtin. When azadirachtin is used for pest management, it can act as an insect repellant, an anti-feedant (interferes with feeding), and growth regulator (interferes with molting and growth) (Schmutterer 1990). When neem oil or neem soap is used, it poisons upon contact much like other soaps and oils. In some cases, neem can also be a systemic insecticide (when applied to the soil, the active ingredients are absorbed into the plant and transported to the growing tips and leaves).
Neem insecticides are
effective against many caterpillars, flies, whitefly, and scales, and are
somewhat effective against aphids. Neem may not show signs of efficacy for 3–7
days, and it can degrade within 3–4 days. Multiple applications are generally
needed to obtain good management of the targeted pests. Neem is regarded as
nontoxic to vertebrate animals and has been shown to minimally affect many
beneficial insects such as bees, spiders, and ladybugs.
Pyrethrum, also known as pyrethrins, is extracted from the seed of Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium and has been used as an insecticide for over 100 years. Today these plants are grown primarily in Kenya. Pyrethrum is effective against a wide range of soft-bodied garden pests such as scales, whitefly, mealybugs, and thrips, but will not control mites. Pyrethrins are neurotoxins that attack an insect’s nervous system and cause repeated and extended nerve firings. They may also have a repellant effect. Pyrethrins are easily broken down by stomach acids in mammals, so toxicity to humans and pets is very low.
However, toxicity can
occur when significantly more product is applied than specified on the label. Do
not spray pyrethrins around ponds or other bodies of water, as they can kill
fish. Pyrethrum is a broad-spectrum insecticide that is toxic to beneficial
insects. Pyrethrum can paralyze susceptible insects upon exposure, but also degrades
in sunlight within hours (ExToxNet n.d.). To get adequate management of some
pests, repeated applications are needed. Pyrethrum products frequently contain a
low hazard activator or synergist such as piperonyl butoxide or piperonyl
cyclonene that substantially increases the effectiveness of the pyrethrum and reduces
its cost (Pedigo and Rice 2008). Depending on the way these synergists have
been manufactured, some pyrethrum products containing synergists may be allowed
for use in organic agriculture.
Some microbes can be
fermented to produce an insecticide such as abermectins, a fermented product of
Streptomyces avermitilis (Dybas 1989) used in baits for household insect pests.
The best known home gardening product of this type is spinosad. Metabolites of
Saccharopolyspora spinosa, a soil-inhabiting bacteria that is fermented, are
the basis for this new class of insecticide. The fermentation process has been
industrialized to produce commercial insecticides.
Spinosad is composed of spinosyns A and D. The fermented product is very toxic to caterpillar pests such as cabbageworm, cabbage looper, diamondback moth, armyworm, and cutworm, as well as fruit flies such as spotted wing drosophila. Spinosad can act on a susceptible insect’s stomach and nervous system.
It is primarily
ingested by feeding insects but can have some efficacy when sprayed directly on
insects. Affected pests cease feeding and undergo partial paralysis within
minutes upon exposure to spinosad, but it may take up to two days for the
insects to die (Salgado et al. 1998).
Spinosad is systemic in
some plants. Depending on the fermentation
process and formulation, some spinosad insecticides are considered organic. Spinosad
has low toxicity to many beneficial insects that prey on pests, and is nontoxic
to mammals and other vertebrates, with the exception of some fish (e.g.,
slightly toxic to trout). Spinosad is toxic to bees for three hours after
application, so do not apply to blooming plants during the day.
Because it is
selectively toxic for many pest species and relatively safe to nontarget
species, spinosad has become highly desirable as an organic insecticide. However,
its popularity raises concerns about the development of pest resistance.
Therefore, alternate the use of spinosad with other products.
Horticultural oils were
used for insect control as early as 1763 (Olkowski et al. 1993) and are still
popular today. Such control agents are often petroleum-based; however, plant-based
oils considered acceptable in organic farming are also available. Horticultural
oils work by disrupting insect feeding and egg laying when the pest is entirely
coated. Eggs covered with oils are prevented from gas exchange, which
suffocates the developing pest.
Horticultural oils have minimal phytotoxic (poisonous) effects on plants when used properly. Application timing, plant species, temperature, and oil type all contribute to the level of effectiveness and risk of phytotoxicity. Phytotoxic effects are easily noticed by the browning or “burning” of the leaves or new growth on the stems.
Dormant and Summer Oils.
Dormant and summer horticultural
oils can control egg, nymph, larva, and adult stages of overwintering leafrollers,
aphids, mites, and scales (Nielsen 1990). Dormant oils are effective at
controlling overwintering eggs and soft-bodied insects and can be used in the
early spring before active plant growth begins.
Only use dormant oils
on woody trees and shrubs in dormant or delayed-dormant stages to avoid
severely burning the foliage. Do not apply either type of oil during freezing weather
because it will reduce the effectiveness of the oil properties and coverage of
Summer oils can be
applied to some woody plants (see the label for specific plants) during the
growing season. Some horticultural oils can be applied in either summer or
winter; however, the concentration used in summer is far lower than in the
winter. To use summer or dormant oils, first dilute with water. (Commercial oil
products contain emulsifying agents that allow them to mix easily with water.)
Pests rarely develop
resistance to oil sprays, and the products cause little or no harm to most
beneficial insects (Raupp et al. 1992). When oils are used correctly (as
directed on the label), they are not hazardous to human health.
SINDH’S first sugar manufacturing facility used to be established in Tando Mohammad Khan — then part of Hyderabad district — a while in the early sixties. It was once situated at the left bank of the Indus.Cotton cultivation was allowed at the left financial institution whilst rice cultivation has been banned on this house, no less than on paper. The proper financial institution spaces, however, were to provide rice as an issue of policy. And all this land was fed via the colonial generation Sukkur barrage, inbuilt 1932.
The crop-mapping or zoning strategy for Sindh’s agriculture sector was once based on parameters established way back. Sadly, things are different nowadays. A Major shift is seen in crop cultivation as the federal government, both provincial and federal, has turned a blind eye to it.
Crop zoning regulates the farm sector. It determines how and where a particular crop or is to be cultivated so as to reach the best yield. Such zones are outlined in view of weather prerequisites, available water flows, drainage system and soil fertility and so forth of that space. This manner helps be certain that efficient utilisation of sources.
Sindh and Punjab are both bearing the brunt of inauspicious implications of this transformation. Punjab’s southern portions are house to sugar cane cultivation due to the ordinary growth of the sugar business in water deficient areas that do not swimsuit the crop. Sugar cane is thought of as Pakistan’s political crop commanding patronage of all bigwigs.
The crop-mapping or zoning strategy for Sindh’s agriculture sector was once in line with parameters established long ago. Sadly, things are different nowadays. A Major shift is observed in crop cultivation as the federal government, each provincial and federal, has became a blind eye to it
Pakistan’s National Food Security Policy used to be approved for the primary time in 72 years by way of the outgoing PML-N govt. Punjab and Sindh — Pakistan’s two major grain producing provinces — have additionally framed their very own agriculture policies.
Besides those two provinces, Balochistan contributes in opposition to the paddy crop while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa focuses on tobacco, even though it additionally has a large number of potential for maize production.
The nationwide meals safety coverage, coupled with the two provincial agriculture insurance policies, cover all policy spaces for sustainable agriculture enlargement. However, to ensure sustainability, what appears to be missing is synchronisation at federal and provincial levels.
“The government needs to share information-based knowledge to convince growers about which crop should be sown in a given season. This culture needs to be developed if we aim to achieve sustainability in our farm sector which has a huge potential for growth,” contended Dr Yusuf Zafar, former chairman Pakistan Agricultural Research Council.
Water, a precious commodity, is becoming scarce. The government often makes use of the general public’s handbag to supply subsidies to first produce a definite crop, akin to sugarcane, after which export the sweetener with rebate, with out benefitting either genuine farmers or consumers. Farmers don’t get the specified worth for his or her produce while consumers get pricey sugar due to institutional lacunas at the implementation degree.
It is owing to a lacking zoning device that Pakistan incessantly has a bumper sugarcane crop coupled with sugar surpluses, all at the cost of declining cotton acreage and looming water shortage. The country has a huge possible for cotton manufacturing and a big textile industry.
To borrow from a Punjab-based agriculture analyst, Ibrahim Mughal, Pakistan is spending Rs600-700 billion on import of various agro-commodities particularly cotton, fit to be eaten oil and pulses.
“We can easily produce [these commodities] by ensuring proper zoning to protect our ecosystem. But we have to protect the natural habitat of our crops and we must stop tinkering with the natural ecosystem or be ready to face the consequences,” he noticed.
If the rustic earns foreign currency on rice exports, it additionally spends an enormous quantity to import safe to eat oil and pulses. And each vegetation can also be grown domestically, as obvious from the revel in won in the 2010 super floods when sunflower cultivation boomed.
The West Pakistan Rice (Restriction on Cultivation) Ordinance 1959 is incessantly invoked in command (left financial institution) spaces of Ghotki Feeder canal (Guddu barrage), Nara and Rohri canals (Sukkur barrage) to ban sowing of paddy. This mirrors the zoning system. But because of vulnerable governmental writ those laws are not strictly enforced, thus paddy surpluses are seen in banned areas.
Pakistan exports a freshwater resource when rice is exported, says former chairman Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources Dr Mohammad Ashraf. Out of eight.6 million tonnes of rice produced in 2015-16, 4.2m tonnes (price Rs194bn) have been exported. These exports required 6.8MAF of freshwater amounting to Rs8.4bn (at Rs1,233 in line with acre foot of water)
Due to nonexistent zoning, top delta crops are grown in spaces the place floor water is insufficient and groundwater is deep or saline. Edible oil crops should be introduced which require much less water and don’t impact foreign currencies.
Dr Ashraf underscored the desire for crop zoning given depleting water resources. The focus will have to be on water conservation and maximization of according to acre productivity to minimize using floor freshwater sources. Abstraction of groundwater, another important resource, is going unchecked and is another burden on the ecosystem.
Over the years Pakistan has turn out to be in large part depending on cotton import because of declining home production of cotton bales. The textile business wishes round 15m cotton bales whilst home production hovers around 10m, resulting in imports.
The space under cultivation for cotton faces huge encroachment in Sindh and Punjab by way of the sugar cane crop which is still politically patronised regardless of which party is in power. This has result in an unnatural growth of the sugar industry.
The Agriculture sector uninterrupted engages in game of Pakistanis financial system since independence. In the early time, it considered a dominant sector however because of the declining its performance because of the political, social, environmental and local weather stipulations its production yield goes down step by step and now it is the second greatest sector in Pakistan.
It accounting for over 21 % of GDP, 45 percent of total labor force engaged with this sector. Around 63 percent of country population are living in rural spaces is not directly or without delay related with this sector for their livelihood. Agriculture sector have Strong linkage with the rest of the financial system this is ignored in statistics.
While on the Other hand, it’s the primary supplier of raw fabrics to downstream industry, that contributing considerably to Pakistan’s export; it’s the largest marketplace for commercial manufactured goods equivalent to insecticides, fertilizers, tractors and agriculture equipment’s.
Predictor variable contains 5 sub-sectors come with Major, Minor vegetation, livestock’s, fisheries and forestry. Major crops include cotton, rice, wheat and sugarcane and many others. and give a contribution 6.5% solely to the GDP. Cotton is the principle non-food crop this is used as a uncooked material for the textile industry. Pakistan is the fourth biggest producer of cotton.
Rice and Wheat are the
most important meals crop out of which rice may be one of the crucial primary
export pieces of the rustic. Sugarcane is another important crop grown for
sugar and sugar related products. Minor vegetation include oil seeds, greens,
pulses, chilies and other small crops. Oil seed plants include cottonseeds,
rapeseed/mustard, sunflower and canola and so forth.
Role of Agriculture in Economic
Agriculture have great
role in economic construction and prosperity. Following are some essential
contributions of agriculture as;
Contribution to National Income
Source of Food Supply
Pre-Requisite for Raw Material
Provision of Surplus
Shift of Manpower:
Creation of Infrastructure:
Relief from Shortage of Capital:
Helpful to Reduce Inequality
Based on Democratic Notions
Create Effective Demand
Helpful in Phasing out Economic
Source of Foreign Exchange for the
Contribution to Capital Formation:
Employment Opportunities for Rural
Extension of Market for Industrial
Role of Agriculture in GDP of Pakistan
Current GDP of Pakistan
is 305 billion. Contribution of main crops in agriculture sector is about to be
25.6 % and contribution of major crops in GDP is sort of 5.four% in keeping
with the economic survey of Pakistan. Wheat contributes approximately 10.3% in
agriculture. Sugarcane is also a cash crop and food crop.
for 18.9 % of GDP and employed bulk of the full paintings power. Agriculture
sector recorded a expansion of 3.46 percent in FY 2017 as compared to the
expansion of zero.27 percent last 12 months. The vegetation sub sector contains
of 37.22 p.c of agriculture sector and is the elemental motive force of
enlargement of the agriculture sector as well as GDP.
Problems in Agriculture of Pakistan
Agriculture is the
backbone of Pakistan’s economic and going through a cyclones of troubles in
The fresh extraordinary building up in international meals
and commodity costs has focussed attention, both home and world, on how perfect
to cope with the immediate have an effect on of those increases at the poor and
the inclined households who spend just about four-fifth in their incomes on
food. Indeed, FAO (2008) estimated that in 2007 globally around 75 million
people joined the number of hungry because of the build up in meals costs.
Several subsequent studies have strengthened the findings that millions of people have develop into food insecure and being driven into poverty across the globe because of increases in food grain costs (IFPRI et.al. (2009), DFID(2009), UN (2008) and Ivanic and Martin (2008a). Studies on Pakistan have also drawn the same conclusion (Chaudhry and Chaudhry (2008). While the fast center of attention of attention has rightly been on cushioning this have an effect on on poverty and hunger, the agriculture sector as a whole is now being tested in its entirety now not best on how absolute best it may well ensure that meals safety and fight starvation but additionally its function in economic development in a globalized economic system.
For if this build up in food and commodity costs indicators an earthly alternate in the global phrases of business in favour of agriculture, and there is explanation why to believe that is so given the worldwide upward shift in demand for meals grains, then the agriculture sector can turn out to be the foremost engine of monetary growth and construction particularly for growing international locations like Pakistan. Also the normal argument that expanding economies of scale are discovered simplest in trade because innovation and technical trade drives productivity growth basically in this sector, is also no longer increasingly more true.
Agriculture may be witnessing massive and sustained will increase in productivity because of the advent of hybrid seeds, new forms of cultivation and other technical and scientific advancements. In Pakistan the new democratic government is giving the best possible precedence to developing agriculture as well as assigning it a leading position in the development technique being formulated for the impending 10 th Five Year Plan (2010-15). This Note identifies a few of these crucial challenges that coverage makers face in assigning agriculture this main position in addition to examines how carried out economic analysis and studying from different countries reports can lend a hand provide steerage to probably the most solutions that the coverage makers desperately search.
KEY ISSUES AND CHALLENGES
Agriculture Pricing : Should the Government be within the business of administering costs? Neo-classical (now neo-liberal) economics is relatively transparent that prices of agricultural commodities must be made up our minds by means of market forces and no restrictions should be positioned on their motion both within the domestic marketplace as well as on their exports and imports. Such a unfastened market regime would make certain that prices closely mirror world prices and result within the optimum utilisation of sources. Reality, then again, could be very other.
In Pakistan in its youth after independence in 1947 the
process of industrialisation (or “primitive accumulation of capital”) used to
be financed not directly through an import-substitution and pricing regime
which modified the phrases of trade in favour of manufacturing and towards the
agriculture sector (Amjad,1982). This resulted in rapid industrialisation and a
rustic with hardly any industries at independence saw by the tip of the 1950s
the emergence of a significant client excellent commercial base. Even despite
the fact that in subsequent decades the location faced by means of the
agriculture sector quite advanced as the economy spread out and value controls
had been gradually diminished together with the abolition of the meals
rationing machine within the 1980s, agricultural prices remained on average
lower than 30 consistent with cent of world prices.
A Contemporary study (Salam, 2009) has calculated that
because of price controls and business restrictions the resulting distortions
resulted in an annual reduction in earnings of the major plants by means of
virtually $1.7 billion on average throughout 2001-08 (see Table 1 and a pair
of). This can be almost 15-20 according to cent of the price of those major
Table 1: Average Annual Transfers from Selected Crops
$ / metric ton
Source: Salam, Abdul (2009).
Table 2: Annual Resource Transfers
from Selected Crops ($ million)
Source: Salam, Abdul(2009).
Fixing Price of Wheat 2008-10 Wheat is the staple meals of the folks of Pakistan and accounts for just about 40 in keeping with cent of value added within the crop sector. In a decisive transfer the brand new democratic executive that took over in March 2008 decided to boost procurement prices2 of wheat for the incoming wheat harvest in Spring 2008 at Rs. 625 according to maund3 from the cost of Rs.425 in line with maund fixed via the last government to make sure higher returns to farmers. This was once additionally in part a response to the fiasco that had resulted from the insurance policies followed by the last executive which had fastened the cost well under international costs for the Spring 2007 wheat crop. Believing it had a bumper crop the then govt had first allowed the export of wheat, however since it had fastened the cost of wheat smartly below global prices a big a part of the wheat crop was once smuggled into neighbouring international locations leading to acute shortages.
The government ultimately used to be compelled to import wheat
at much upper costs than it had exported. In solving the upper value of wheat
for the Spring 2009 crop the government relied amongst others on the
suggestions of a Task Force of eminent mavens that recommended fixing prices as
close to as international costs and saying them well earlier than the wheat
sowing season.4 A wheat worth of Rs. 950 introduced by way of the government in
September 2008 was once almost 52 % higher than its earlier worth. This ended
in a bumper crop, as farmers shifted land to wheat manufacturing as well as
used extra inputs, forcing the government to buy huge quantities of wheat to
care for costs it had fixed.
This ended in a big
building up in executive reserves for which it had neither the godowns to
retailer nor had allocated sufficient price range to pay for their storage.
Also prices in neighbouring countries were decrease so no wheat was smuggled
out. Also international prices of wheat had begun to fall in order that the
government could simplest export wheat at a loss which it was once now not
prepared to do. In announcing the upper worth of wheat for Spring 2009 crop in
line with world costs although welcomed through the farmers ended in different
issues. First and important it adversely affected the poor in urban spaces and
the landless labour and really small farmers (who do not grow sufficient to
meet their wishes) in rural areas.
It also fuelled inflation within the economic system that was
then working at over 25 in line with cent. The govt in part tried to offset
this through providing direct income improve to poor households in both city
and rural spaces (of Rs 1000 in line with family in keeping with month via the
Benazir Income Support Programme).
Announcing the price of
wheat for the Spring 2010 crop once more posed a predicament to the federal
government as international wheat costs had fallen to nearer Rs. 700 per maund.
However, the government may just no longer cut back the price it had mounted
earlier and determined to care for wheat costs at Rs. 950 in step with maund
much to the discontentment of the farmer lobby.
This review of
government interference in solving the price of wheat lately to bring them
consistent with global prices in addition to ensuring better returns to farmers
is an representation of the challenges a govt can face when it intervenes in
agricultural markets. The new government has also fixed minimal prices of rice
in the closing two years with limited procurement goals and confronted
In a comparable transfer the Supreme Court of
Pakistan upheld an order of the High Court that fixed sugar costs at Rs. 40 in
step with kilogram (Kg) which was smartly below the prevailing global value.
The outcome was once that sugar disappeared from the marketplace and was once
available in restricted quantities at nearer Rs. 60-70 in line with Kg even if
the government bought its sugar stocks thru Public Utility Stores at Rs. 40
consistent with Kg. Once the Supreme Court order receded sugar is now available
in the market at around Rs. 70/- in step with Kg.
Some of the important
thing questions that rise up from the Pakistan’s enjoy may also be posed as
Should the govt interfere in agriculture
markets or go away them completely to marketplace forces?
If it does intervene what must be the
root on which costs will have to be fixed?
If it does fix costs with regards to
global costs how should it take care of problems coming up from large fluctuations
in international costs?
How do you reconcile incentives to
farmers thru higher prices with reasonably priced coverage to the deficient and
susceptible households who spend round 80 in step with cent of their earning on
If farmers are paid world costs for
their merchandise should they not also pay income tax (from which they’re these
days exempted in Pakistan) as do different source of revenue earners in the
country? How is that this executed in different nations?
What are the possibilities of opening up
trade in meals grains in South Asia and the revel in thus far together with the
putting in of a Food Security Bank?
Research and Sharing of Country Experiences
The problems outlined
had been much researched but within the present international milieu there may
be need for severe re-assessment. At a minimum analysis can lend a hand
coverage makers realise the prices and benefits of the selections they take.
Also how different developing nations are selecting those issues would assist
policy makers learn from each and every others studies. The downside this
present day is that the IFI’s, namely the World Bank and in Asia the ADB, have
very inflexible perspectives on these issues (i.e. leave it totally to market
forces and not using a industry restrictions) which can be for most developing
countries neither politically possible nor essentially economically the best.
Also fairness issues don’t lend themselves to easy solutions when such policy
regimes are followed. The seek will have to center of attention on second
absolute best answers which come as shut as imaginable to ensuring efficient
results in addition to meeting needs of the deficient and inclined.
Reducing Rural Poverty: Empowering the Poor
While there remains
substantial debate on ranges and trends in poverty in Pakistan especially
post-2001 where legitimate estimates recommend a vital decline to round 22
according to cent in 2005-06 as compared to nearer 35 in step with cent in
2001-02, there is no disputing the stark finding that poverty in rural spaces
is far upper as compared to city areas. Rural poverty used to be estimated in
2005-06 at 27 consistent with cent which is nearly double that of urban poverty
at 13.1 in step with cent (Pakistan Economic Survey, 2008-09). Also there is
proof to signify that poverty is upper amongst females as compared to males.
Estimates for 2007-08 which have no longer been formally recognized suggest
that poverty levels could have further decreased to round 17 in keeping with
cent total which appear to be rather counterintuitive given a significant
slowing down in the economy in that yr and with inflation being at 12 in
keeping with cent.
financial system is characterised by means of an extremely skewed ownership of
productive property, in particular land and water. There are a lot of small,
resource deficient and subsistence farmers (86 per cent of 6.6 million farm
families) who own lower than 50 consistent with cent of the land and water
resources and a small collection of massive farmers (14 in line with cent of
the total) proudly owning more than 50 in line with cent of the assets. About a
third of the agricultural labour power is composed of landless labour which
along with very small farmers (2 hectares or less), especially tenant farmers
tend to be the poorest in the country. (see Annex Table I and II).
The problem is to plan
insurance policies which make agriculture more equitable for small farmers and
This is again a far
researched house but there are two primary initiatives by the newly elected
democratic executive on which sharing of country experiences could be
specifically helpful. These relate to distributing state lands among the
landless and the second is poverty alleviation via small holders farm animals
and diary construction.
Distributing State Land Among the Landless and Small Tenant Farmers
There is a rising body
of research in Pakistan (drawing at the New Institutional Economics) that
argues that a main factor hindering economic development is the limited get
right of entry to nature of its underlying social order.6
This college argues
that poverty in Pakistan is not merely the result of adverse resource
endowments but since the poor are locked “into a nexus of power which deprives
the poor of their actual and potential income.”7 This energy construction which
contains state establishments and native robust elite discriminates in
opposition to the deficient in gaining get admission to over productive
belongings, finance, public services and governance selections which makes it
virtually unimaginable for them to wreck out of poverty.
For them to break out
of poverty requires first providing access to land for the landless labour in
addition to tenant families to shop for land and then offering them through
establishments over which they’ve regulate key inputs such as credit, seed,
fertilizer, water extension services and get right of entry to to markets.
In Pakistan’s case it’s
endorsed shifting the estimated 2.6 million acres of state land to the landless
at the side of the availability of credit score to tenant farmers to enable
them to buy land. This would make a significant dent on bettering prerequisites
of landless and tenant farmers.
Pakistan has experience
of distributing state land to retiring senior government functionaries each
civilian and armed forces. However most effective in recent years has this
transfer been made as an immediate intervention for lowering poverty.
The Punjab executive in
recent years dispensed over 1 million acres to landless labour in the province
in holdings of 12.5 acres below plenty of schemes and equipped necessary inputs
to those farmers to ensure just right returns from the land. While no detailed
find out about on these schemes had been revealed the overall impression has
been that they’ve been successful on the subject of vital improvements in
living standards and human development indicators of households who gained
possession rights to this land.
More lately the brand
new democratic provincial govt in Sind has additionally put in place a scheme
to distribute state land to poor girls (under the Benazir Behan Basti
Programme) who are receiving direct source of revenue strengthen below the
Benazir Income Support Programme). No analysis has yet been finished of this
scheme which used to be introduced in 2009.
The creator is not
aware of any present or previous schemes that lend a hand tenant farmers in
getting access to lands they these days domesticate regardless that this
proposal is contained in the Approach Paper to the 10th Five Year Plan
(2010-15) (see Planning Commission, June 2009).
The problems related to
land distribution through land reforms or resettlement programmes in new lands
introduced beneath cultivation has been extensively analysed. However, there
are a number of key issues which want in-depth research from which policy makers
may just benefit together with via other country studies. These relate to:
Understanding the operating of rural
agriculture land markets and how such land may well be made accessible to the
poor landless and tenant farmers.
Successful enhance programmes for
offering key inputs to settle farm households who have been given land rights
and particularly the ones programmes in the operating of which they are at once
Programmes which distribute state land
to poor women for cultivation and housing.
Poverty Alleviation through Smallholders
Livestock and Dairy Development
Only when it dawned on
economic planners that livestock accounts for 52 in keeping with cent of
agriculture sector GDP (Pakistan is the fifth biggest milk producer in the
world) that critical consideration has been given to encourage its
construction. The non-public sector has, on the other hand, been energetic in
the putting in place of cool chains including international companies (eg.
Nestle) which gather milk from designated points in rural spaces and then
promote as packed milk in urban areas.
Again what is not
sufficiently recognized is that landless labour which account for nearly
one-third of agricultural households depend on livestock as crucial supply of
source of revenue, which provides an ordinary waft of money source of revenue
on day by day foundation and livestock conserving which is principally
completed through unpaid feminine household participants is the most important
for meeting their nutritional needs. Available proof also signifies that extent
of reliance of farm households on farm animals is inversely similar with farm
measurement. The Government in Pakistan thus sees small holder dairy
construction specifically for landless as providing considerable attainable for
Given acute scarcity of
available village land and top costs for land the landless to find it extremely
tough to find suitable area for their milch animals. Other constraints faced
via them come with insufficient diet, veterinary health and synthetic
insemination coverage. They also are exploited by “dhodies” (milk dealers) and
also via overseas firms who offer low milk prices to them. Given that land
isn’t available many landless labour stay their milch animals at “deras”
(enlarged residing quarters) of huge landowners and in return they have got to
work for them with little or no wages.
To alleviate poverty
amongst landless labour the government has therefore determined to release a
Smallholder’s Dairy Development Project which can assist them in increasing
milk productivity in addition to loose them from exploitation by means of
“dhodies” and large landowners. Important elements of the scheme include
provision of land and infrastructure for neighborhood farms, environment up of
farmer’s organizations, era/input fortify particularly provision of credit,
strengthen for improvement in health and breed of animals as well as fortify in
processing and advertising of milk.
enlargement and construction of the agriculture sector economists as well as
coverage makers have no longer given enough attention to the improvement of the
livestock sector which as now we have observed will also be an important method
of assuaging rural poverty. Policy makers may just be told from other countries
stories especially in devising focused programmes for small farmers and
landless cattle holders. Some of the problems that need investigation are:
Analysis of the
function of the farm animals sector in alleviating
poverty especially feminine poverty in rural spaces.
Analysis of native,
national and regional markets for milk and milk merchandise
and how livestock house owners especially small farmers and landless can tap
those markets and recover prices for the milk they promote.
as a method of offering economic enhance for deficient rural households
especially in assembly their dietary needs and the way those may be adversely
affected by more and more selling their milk for generating cash income.
Corporate Farming: Should it’s encouraged in labour surplus economies?
With a highly skewed
land distribution and labour pressure enlargement at close to three in keeping
with cent, amongst the highest on the earth, the problem of encouraging company
farming and extra not too long ago leasing out of huge tracts of land to overseas
companies or governments has grow to be a highly emotive issue in Pakistan.
The financial case for
not encouraging huge scale company farming in Pakistan has been basically in
accordance with the idea that this may result in an ejection of existing farmers
particularly tenant farmers and at the similar time scale back labour
agriculture. With job
era in the formal sector being very low these ejected farmers and landless
labour would simplest be absorbed in the city informal financial system which
already suffers from low productiveness, low incomes and extremely deficient
and unsafe operating stipulations.
The debate on corporate
farming has been intensified in recent months when with the new will increase
in food and commodity costs led many nations exploring probabilities of meeting
their meals grain needs by way of purchasing or leasing out of land in
neighbouring countries and thus ensuring food security for themselves . In
Pakistan such passion has been reputedly expressed by way of neighbouring
Middle-East international locations.
It is also claimed that
South Korea and India have leased land in African international locations for
the production of the so-called miracle crop Jatropha which has no longer quite
lived up to its expectations.
Issues associated with
corporate farming and even leasing out of enormous tracts of land to overseas
corporations or nations wishes some dispassionate analysis because the
solutions to those questions might well not be in black and white but be
conditional on land location, its bodily traits and local labour marketplace
prerequisites. If for instance Pakistan used to be to rent out semi-arid land
and those wishing to rent it are ready to make enough investment to make the
land cultivable then this would increase labour absorption and benefit the
local economy. Also the stipulations of the hire could be such that the land
would after some time revert to nationwide ownership. These prerequisites may
additionally include limits on the use of floor and underground water as well
as moving of generation and many others. Also in Pakistan some local massive
land house owners have long gone in for enormous scale company farming but
slightly than just eject those that had been already farming the land they have
got absorbed them in activities each farm and non-farm which they run.
Some of the problems
that subsequently want to be researched may just center of attention on:
– Advantages and disadvantages of huge
scale corporate farming and figuring out conditions below which it must be
encouraged or discouraged.
– Under what stipulations should
countries allow leasing of land to foreign companies or overseas governments
with out compromising on nationwide financial pastime and sovereignty.
elegance financial research on key agriculture (and business comparable) issues
Policy makers in
Pakistan are starved of data and analysis on key financial issues a few of that
have been highlighted in this be aware.
The Government is
therefore significantly taking into account putting in of an overly top high
quality research policy unit in the Ministry of Agriculture.
However, past revel in
suggests that such executive based totally analysis units are hardly ever a hit
and get mired in bureaucracy and fail to attract just right researchers even
though they are paid marketplace primarily based salaries.
Pakistan has a number
of Agriculure Universities and an excessively huge Pakistan Agriculture
Research Council but those our bodies are a lot higher at doing medical
research fairly than analysis on key economic problems.
This raises some
fundamental questions on how research should be organized that concentrates on
key economic issues equivalent to terms of business, agriculture pricing and
other such necessary issues. Currently advice on those issues is given through
the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank together with below programme
loans with conditionalities that their economic viewpoint on these issues is
strictly carried out.
Governments can learn
from each others studies in engaging in and drawing on coverage related
research in taking agriculture related decisions. Some key issues are:
– How very best can research
on key agriculture issues be organized which is each timely and related to
wishes of coverage makers?
– Should analysis be conducted in our
bodies working in government or must those be carried out in independent
analysis organizations and if the latter how should the govt make stronger the
surroundings up and expansion of such organizations.
– Role of global
organizations (eg. GDN) in providing strengthen to build up
of such analysis capability each on the nationwide level as well as via pooling
of worldwide knowledge.
Akmal Hussain, Institutions, Economic Structure and Poverty in Pakistan, South
Asia Economic Journal, Volume 5, Number 1, January-June
2004, SAGE Publications,
Akmal Hussain, An Institutional Framework for Inclusive Growth, 15 May 2009.
Amjad, Rashid (1982) Private Industrial Investment
in Pakistan 1960–70. Cambridge: South Asian Studies, Cambridge
Chaudhry and A. Chaudhry (2008)
“The Effects of Rising Food and Fuel Costs on
Poverty in Pakistan”, The
Lahore Journal of Economics,
Special Edition, 2008.
DFID (March 2009). Eliminating World
Conference on the
Future of International
Economic Wing, Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (MINFAL), Government of Pakistan. Agricultural Statistics of Pakistan (various
(Triticum aestivum L.) is the major
cereal crop grown in world. World wheat production is 695 million tons (FAO,
2011). In Pakistan it contributes 9.1 % to the value added products in
agriculture and 1.7 % to gross domestic production. Currently, the area under
wheat is 8.73 million hectares and total production is 25.4 million tons with
an average yield of 2.9 metric ton ha-1 (Govt. of Pakistan, 2017-18).
Despite a higher yield potential, average grain yield of wheat in Pakistan is
well below than in most of the wheat producing countries of the world.
Dr.Muhammad Rafi Qamar
(Department of Agronomy, UOS)
Pakistan, wheat occupies a central position in regulating agricultural policies
and dominates all agronomic crops in the form of total acreage and yield. Wheat
is generally grown after rice and cotton in rice-wheat and cotton-wheat
cropping system. Rice-wheat cropping system plays an
important role not only in Pakistan but also in world food security. In Indian-subcontinent,
the area under rice-wheat cropping system is 13.5 million hectares.
In Pakistan, rice is grown in Kharif season under puddle condition while irrigated spring wheat in Rabi season. The total area is about 2.4 million hectares under rice out of which 50% comprised of fine and long quality speciality rice varieties (Basmati). Fine and long quality rice varieties are late maturing which often delay and / or affect spring wheat planting. However, farmers prefer to grow spring wheat due to its high gross margins. Rice is generally harvested mechanically by combine harvester, which leaves rice stubbles in the field. To overcome the problem of rice stubbles most of the farmers burn the residues because rice stubbles incorporation required several tillage operations, which also delays wheat planting. Irregular tillage operations especially conventional tillage during the seedbed preparation and at late maturing stage of basmati rice delayed the wheat planting.
practices including frequent plowing, chemical fertilization, and pesticide
application increases crop yields but exerts negative effects on soil
productivity and farm economics. Plowing
improves soil tilth for crop growth and yield, alleviates soil compaction and
nutrient stratification, and suppresses weeds and soil-borne diseases. However,
frequent plowing fragments and mixes crop residues, increases soil aeration and
temperature, disperses soil structure, accelerates decomposition of crop
residues and native soil organic matter (SOM), and causes an increase in CO2
emissions into the atmosphere. Moreover, plowing led to the formation of
hardpan at the plow depths, decreases water infiltration with accelerated soil
a rice-wheat cropping system,
rice is mostly grown under puddling which leads to the destruction of wet soil
aggregates by plowing, sealing of pore spaces, and formation of a subsurface
hardpan. This subsoil compaction reduced both the water and nutrient-use
efficiencies of subsequent wheat crop owing to decreased root growth. Wheat
yield reduction and degradation of soil physical properties depend on the
intensity and duration of puddling operations.
Deep tillage of puddle soil reduces
the compaction, increases rooting depth, and improves the yield of the
following wheat crop. Deep tillage not only alleviates soil compaction but also
control weeds through deep burial of weed seeds. In areas where continuous
cropping is practiced, deep tillage increases the surface area of soil exposed
to sunlight to control certain diseases, insects and weeds. Two
passes of subsoiling were more effective than subsoiling with one-pass for not
only overcoming the soil compaction but also improving the soil tilth. The
soil moisture at 50 to 100 cm depth under deep tillage was more, while the
water consumption reduced in the 0 to 50 cm depth. However, deep tillage is costly in terms of
fuel and time.
Wheat yield can be
increased by managing resources through conservation management practices. The
most important technology is the conservation tillage that has made to overcome
soil erosion, maximize vegetative cover on the land, increase soil organic
matter, improve carbon, energy and water footprints, and sustain farm economics
is zero tillage.
Zero-tillage is well known as zero-till, no-till, direct seeding and direct
drilling. No-till techniques have been successfully applied on more than 111
million hectare worldwide. Continuous use of reduced or no-till practices
substantially improves the net profitability of crop production. The yield of
zero-till wheat is equal to or even higher than the yields produced by
conventional tillage. However, no-till wheat yields are often affected by weeds
pressures and poor crop stand due to soil compaction, anoxic conditions, and
immobilization of nitrogen.
till conversion of plowing is one of the strategies to decrease farming costs,
reduce soil erosion, and improve ecosystem services. With NT, surface
accumulation of crop residues as mulch influences air, water, and energy
exchange between the soil ecosystem and the atmosphere. These processes reduce
soil temperature and evaporation during summer months, retain soil moisture
longer-especially under dry conditions, and thereby improve crop productivity.
Long-term continuous NT has been reported to produce wheat yields equal to or
even higher than that of plowed fields.
In rice-wheat cropping
systems, rice is harvested by combines, which leave large amount of crop
residues in the fields. However, the newly introduced Happy Seeder (HS) cuts
and manages the standing stubble and loose straw in front of the furrow
openers, retaining it as surface mulch and sows wheat in a single operational
pass of the field. Moreover, operational costs for sowing wheat are 50 to 60 %
lower with HS than with conventional sowing. The HS technology provides an
alternative to burning for managing rice residues and allows direct drilling of
wheat in standing and loose residues. However, most constraints in transitional
NT or HS are high weed pressure, poor crop stands, soil compaction and
stratification of nutrients, and N immobilization. The problem of N
immobilization is more acute in alternate year rice-wheat production systems
due to high C:N crop residues.
production depends on the efficient use of N fertilizers. In wheat production,
N plays an important role in crop growth and yield. Most of the wheat varieties
grown in Pakistan require substantial quantities of N because soil organic
matter content is very low. High price and excessive use of N fertilizers as an
insurance against crop failures have caused widespread environmental and public
health problems that emphasized the need for efficient use of the N
fertilizers. There are needs to evaluate the potential effects of surface
residues on N transformations and crop development. Tillage
operations influence the soil N dynamics because the crop residues which are
incorporated in the soil by plowing decompose faster than the residues which
remain on the surface under NT and HS. In NT, N release from the crop residues
is slow due to partial anaerobesis and/or due to N immobilization. than in
tilled systems. However, when applied in excess of crop requirements NT
system has a greater loss of N fertilizer by leaching and volatilization than
in CT. Current recommendations of N fertilization developed for continuously
plowed systems which may not be adequate for optimum production of wheat under
NT because extra nitrogen is required for residues decomposition. Therefore,
the information on the effects of tillage and N fertilization on wheat
production in post-harvest puddle rice fields in presence of stubbles is
critical to evaluate the sustainability of the rice-wheat production systems.
Pakistan’s meals industry deficit shrank to $1.4 billion in the last fiscal year from $2.43bn a year ago. But a reversal of the trend is obviously in sight all over the current fiscal 12 months.In the first 5 months of 2018-19, the meals trade deficit stands at $954 million. If no main tasks are taken to spice up food exports and comprise imports, the full-year deficit may again finally end up on the subject of $2bn. Even exports of 0.5m tonnes of wheat and wheat products, as steered by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, cannot beef up food export profits to a level to avert this risk.
In the previous, we’ve got observed the meals industry deficit rising even in the middle of document wheat and sugar exports.
Import volumes of pulses in July-November went up about 65computer, which presentations little attention is being paid to minor crops
A prolong within the acceptance of a few calls for of the millers for sugar exports, availability of a smaller surplus of non-basmati rice and a longer ban on deep-sea fishing all over this fiscal yr, which decreased fish hauling within the first quarter, have diluted the positive factors in meals exports.
Against this, meals imports totalled $2.47bn, down nine.28pc basically because of the imposition of higher price lists from $2.72bn within the year-ago duration, leaving an opening of $954m.
If sugar exports had begun previous, manufacturing of non-basmati rice types in Sindh had no longer been affected by water scarcity and the government had resolved an argument over the ban on deep-sea fishing on time, overall food exports can have been higher.
These components have in reality belittled some positive factors in food exports so far this fiscal yr, like higher basmati shipments and an build up in export earnings of fruit and veggies.
The major drawback with Pakistan’s food exports is that their expansion price is inconsistent. There are many causes for it, but one of them pertains to politics. In the absence of a relaxed political setting, agriculture and food business suffer a lot.
Take the example of sugar. Towards the end of the PML-N govt, the standard tiff between sugar cane growers and sugar mills bought a new measurement and endured even after the set up of the brand new PTI government.
A proactive judiciary additionally entered the scene — and for relatively right reasons. But the outcome is that the millers’ cussed attitude throughout Pakistan and too much politicising of the sugar turbines’ affairs in Sindh led to delayed cane crushing. Then the millers’ demand that they should be allowed to export sugar regardless of whether or not they had up to now defaulted on bank loans resulted in an impasse.
The PTI govt on the centre was no longer in a temper to simply accept it. But after all it needed to, and sugar exports started picking up pace rather overdue. As a end result, sugar export profits suffered.
Export earnings of non-basmati rice in 5 months of this fiscal year fell chiefly owing to fewer shipments. In most rice-growing areas of Sindh and in some spaces of Punjab, paddy cultivation suffered in the previous 12 months, lowering the exportable surplus. That Sindh continues to suffer from an acute water scarcity this yr too and rice growers say the output here can decline as much as 30 in keeping with cent imply that there’s little scope for enhancing non-basmati rice in coming months.
Seafood export volumes have declined in July-November principally because of a debatable ban on deep-sea fishing at the issue of seaworthiness of fishing trawlers.
Government officers say that the issue has been resolved and hope that seafood exports will pick up now. But no person can say if general seafood exports within the present year will surpass that of the last year.
Traditionally, we see a food industry deficit every year, because of unsustainable expansion in exports and emerging imports of food pieces, including palm and soybean oils, pulses, dry milk and tea — and a lot of completed meals merchandise starting from components milk and gear diet to dear manufacturers of espresso, honey, confectionary merchandise and whatnot.
At a time when the whole international trade deficit remains a big headache for foreign exchange–starved Pakistan, we will be able to hardly ever come up with the money for this sort of huge meals industry deficit. Clearly, there is a need to slash it. But that is not conceivable if the federal and provincial authorities and the non-public sector all in favour of agriculture and agro-based meals exports take a seat at the side of a single-point time table of boosting agricultural productivity and promoting meals exports.
On the import side, additional revision in non-essential meals items can be thought to be preserving in view that the tariff hikes made up to now have began making a dent in imports.
In addition, import substitution efforts must also be speeded up. Higher native output of oilseed crops has already started reducing its imports. The provincial governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had been running on olive plantation for a number of years. There is a want to expedite the ones projects along with continuing common oilseed plants. The manufacturing of dried milk can be boosted with a bit effort.
The cultivation of pulses at the fringes of primary crop farm fields will have to be promoted to meet increasing home wishes and save foreign currency echange. In the primary 5 months of this fiscal yr, import volumes of pulses have gone up through about 65computer, which displays how little consideration is being paid to minor crops generally and pulses in particular.
Pakistan and China will quickly finalise main points of a plan on how Chinese public- and private-sector corporations will lend a hand us enhance our agricultural output and meals exports underneath the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Some different countries, together with the United States, Germany and Japan, are already working intently with our provincial governments and helping us enhance agricultural output. There is a need to integrate some of these efforts, take all stakeholders on board and release a big three-pronged technique, officers and other people associated with the food industry say.
Such a strategy must intention at making improvements to per-hectare yields of food crops and promoting import substitutions with better monetary and information funding, discouraging imports of completed food imports and inspiring extra high-end, value-added meals merchandise.
Vertical Farms are modular and may also be adjusted to suit any development. Vertical Farms can also feed more folks then regular farming can as a result of they grow 75 times more meals in keeping with sq. foot then a standard farm. Vertical Farms additionally use no insecticides and no fungicides so the food is healthier and more secure. Vertical Farms also scale back water intake because indoor farms use 90 percent much less water than outside farms, so having a rainy or dry season doesn’t subject. Indoor farming too can keep watch over plant fertilizing vitamins so the meals this is grown is highly nutritious.
Grow a large volume of meals in a reasonably small space and use less water. 6,500 sq. meters = 900,000-kilo harvest. Vertical Farming strategies may lend a hand maintain lands and rain forests and in addition give time for other lands to get well and replenish topsoil and likewise assist cut back carbon intake. Better use of world’s present cropland may feed 3 billion extra folks. Green Houses
Controlled Environment Agriculture is a technology-based means toward food manufacturing. The intention of CEA is to supply coverage and care for optimum growing conditions all through the improvement of the crop. Production takes place within an enclosed growing construction equivalent to a greenhouse or building. Plants are frequently grown the usage of hydroponic methods with a view to supply the correct amounts of water and nutrients to the basis zone. CEA optimizes using resources equivalent to water, energy, area, capital and labor.
CEA applied sciences include hydroponics, aquaculture, and aquaponics. Controllable variables: Temperature (air, nutrient solution, root-zone), Humidity (%RH), Carbon dioxide (CO2), Light (depth, spectrum, period), Nutrient focus (PPM, EC) Fertilizers, Nutrient pH (acidity). CEA amenities can vary from fully automatic glasshouses with computer controls for watering, lighting fixtures and air flow, to low-tech solutions akin to cloches or plastic film on field grown plants and plastic-covered tunnels. CEA is used in analysis in order that a particular aspect of manufacturing can also be isolated while all different variables remain the similar. Tinted glass might be compared to simple glass on this manner all over an investigation into photosynthesis.
Another chance could be an investigation into the usage of supplementary lighting for growing lettuce below a hydroponic gadget. Vertical Farming is the observe of producing food in vertically stacked layers, such as in a skyscraper, used warehouse, or delivery container. The fashionable ideas of vertical farming use indoor farming techniques and controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) expertise, where all environmental factors may also be controlled.
These amenities make the most of synthetic control of light, environmental keep watch over (humidity, temperature, gases…) and fertigation. Some vertical farms use tactics similar to greenhouses, the place natural sunlight may also be augmented with artificial lights and steel reflectors. Ski town turns automobile park into Vertical Farm for Local Jobs/Food (youtube) – Vertical Harvest Jackson produces 100,000 pounds of vegetables a 12 months on a plot 30 ft through 150 feet long; their 1/10th of an acre website online grows an annual amount of produce an identical to 10 acres of conventional farming. Relying on hydroponics and shifting carousels, the farm uses 90% less water than conventional farming and doesn’t use any pesticides (only sticky traps).
Biofortification is the theory of breeding crops to increase their dietary worth. This will also be carried out either thru conventional selective breeding, or through genetic engineering. Biofortification differs from ordinary fortification as it focuses on making plant foods extra nutritious because the crops are growing, quite than having vitamins added to the meals when they’re being processed.
Window Farm is a hydroponic urban gardening system is an indoor garden that allows for year-round growing in almost any window. It lets plants use natural light, the climate control of your living space, and organic “liquid soil.” Uses open-source designs.Window Farms – Window Farms
Square Roots Grow uses shipping containers to help local farmers to grow GMO-free, pesticide-free, real food. $85,000 high-tech growing chambers pre-loaded with sensors, exotic lighting, precision plumbing for irrigation, vertical growing towers, a climate control system, and, now, leafy greens. It’s even possible to design taste.
Vertical Harvest Hydroponics builds enclosed systems out of transformed shipping containers. Around $200,000, including the customized freight container and the price to fly it in a C-130 transport plane.
Large Scale Vertical Farming
AeroFarms turned an abandoned steel mill into the World’s Largest Vertical Farm in Newark, N.J. – 12 layers of growth on 3½ acres, producing 2 million pounds of food per year. Growing a plant in about 16 days instead of 30 days in the field. Aero Farms Vertical Farming
Plantagon productive agriculture solutions in urban environments. Retro-fitting empty areas and buildings into sustainable food production. Can use office buildings basements, Residential buildings basements or underground parking, Factories, Custom made Concepts. Combination building, growing food on one side of a building and selling food on the other side, along with an exercise floor, health services, office space, science space, library, learning center, and so on. A Symbiotic System that combines municipal infrastructure such as cooling, heating, biogas, waste, water and energy with food production.
Kennett Township Pennsylvania region produces half the mushroom crop in the U.S., known as the Mushroom Capital of the World. In a small section of Pennsylvania, indoor farms are producing more than a million pounds of mushrooms every day.Kennett Mushrooms are the largest producer in the world of fresh mushrooms. Not only produce, but pack and ship all across North America, with delivery typically within 48 hours. That’s about a half a billion pounds of mushrooms a year. And that represents about 50 percent of the U.S. mushroom crop.
Netherlands Green Houses: 35% of Vegetables are grown on just 20 acres of land, 1% of farm land. 2 million pounds of tomatoes, double of outdoor farming. Growing 350 times more foof then a regular farm using 1/5 the water. 2nd in the world in exporting food. Dutch Greenhouse experts in greenhouse manufacturing.
Plants in Space are plants grown in outer space typically in a weightless but pressurized controlled environment in specific space gardens. In the context of human spaceflight, they can be consumed as food and/or provide a refreshing atmosphere. Plants can metabolize carbon dioxide in the air to produce valuable oxygen, and can help control cabin humidity. Growing plants in space may provide a psychological benefit to human spaceflight crews.
Bioregenerative Life Support System are artificial ecosystems consisting of many complex symbiotic relationships among higher plants, animals, and microorganisms. As the most advanced life support technology, BLSS can provide a habitation environment similar to the Earth’s biosphere for space missions with extended durations, in deep space, and with multiple crews.
Agriculture is a Life Support System, which is a group of devices that allow a human being to survive in space. US government space agency NASA, and private spaceflight companies use the term environmental control and life support system or the acronym ECLSS when describing these systems for their human spaceflight missions. The life support system may supply air, water and food. It must also maintain the correct body temperature, an acceptable pressure on the body and deal with the body’s waste products. Shielding against harmful external influences such as radiation and micro-meteorites may also be necessary. Components of the life support system are life-critical, and are designed and constructed using safety engineering techniques.
Space Greens beat the blues | Plants and psychological well-being in space. Plants may play a key role in maintaining the psychological well-being of space crews. Space travel can cause sleep disorders, a reduction in energy, inattentiveness and difficulty in problem-solving, and even memory loss. It can cause people to be more hostile, act more impulsively and, despite the danger and excitement, is sometimes boring. Any of these conditions and problems can lead to dangerous, if not tragic outcomes.
CEAC Lunar Greenhouse (youtube) Full Scale Lunar Greenhouse Prototype (youtube) Biosphere 2 is an Earth system science research facility located in Oracle, Arizona. It has been owned by the University of Arizona since 2011. Its mission is to serve as a center for research, outreach, teaching, and lifelong learning about Earth, its living systems, and its place in the universe. It is a 3.14-acre (1.27-hectare) structure originally built to be an artificial, materially closed ecological system, or vivarium. It remains the largest closed system ever created. Biosphere 1.
Earth System Science is the application of systems science to the Earth sciences. In particular, it considers interactions between the Earth’s “spheres”—atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, pedosphere, biosphere, and, even, the magnetosphere—as well as the impact of human societies on these components. At its broadest scale, Earth system science brings together researchers across both the natural and social sciences, from fields including ecology, economics, geology, glaciology, meteorology, oceanography, paleontology, sociology, and space science. Like the broader subject of systems science, Earth system science assumes a holistic view of the dynamic interaction between the Earth’s spheres and their many constituent subsystems, the resulting organization and time evolution of these systems, and their stability or instability. Subsets of Earth system science include systems geology and systems ecology, and many aspects of Earth system science are fundamental to the subjects of physical geography and climate science. Systems Science
Earth Science is a widely embraced term for the fields of science related to the planet Earth. It is the branch of science dealing with the physical constitution of the earth and its atmosphere. Earth science is the study of our planet’s physical characteristics, from earthquakes to raindrops, and floods to fossils. Earth science can be considered to be a branch of planetary science, but with a much older history. “Earth science” is a broad term that encompasses four main branches of study, each of which is further broken down into more specialized fields.
Systems Geology emphasizes the nature of geology as a system – that is, as a set of interacting parts that function as a whole. The systems approach involves study of the linkages or interfaces between the component objects and processes at all levels of detail in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the so
lid Earth. A long-term objective is to provide computational support throughout the cycles of investigation, integrating observation and experiment with modeling and theory, each reinforcing the other. The overall complexity suggests that systems geology must be based on the wider emerging cyberinfrastructure, and should aim to harmonize geological information with Earth system science within the context of the e-science vision of a comprehensive global knowledge system (see Linked Data, Semantic Web).
Systems Ecology is an interdisciplinary field of ecology, a subset of Earth system science, that takes a holistic approach to the study of ecological systems, especially ecosystems. Systems ecology can be seen as an application of general systems theory to ecology. Central to the systems ecology approach is the idea that an ecosystem is a complex system exhibiting emergent properties. Systems ecology focuses on interactions and transactions within and between biological and ecological systems, and is especially concerned with the way the functioning of ecosystems can be influenced by human interventions. It uses and extends concepts from thermodynamics and develops other macroscopic descriptions of complex systems.
Systems Biology is the computational and mathematical modeling of complex biological systems. It is a biology-based interdisciplinary field of study that focuses on complex interactions within biological systems, using a holistic approach (holism instead of the more traditional reductionism) to biological research.
Biological System s a complex network of biologically relevant entities. As biological organization spans several scales, examples of biological systems are populations of organisms, or on the organ- and tissue scale in mammals and other animals, the circulatory system, the respiratory system, the nervous system, etc. On the micro to the nanoscopic scale, examples of biological systems are cells, organelles, macromolecular complexes and regulatory pathways. A biological system is not to be confused with a living system, which is commonly referred to as life. For further information see e.g. definition of life or synthetic biology.
Microclimates – Green House
Create Microclimates in a sterile environment that uses less water than field grown crops. Bees are allowed in to pollinate, but other bugs are kept out, eliminating the need for pesticides.
Greenhouse is a structure with walls and roof made chiefly of transparent material, such as glass, in which plants requiring regulated climatic conditions are grown. These structures range in size from small sheds to industrial-sized buildings. A miniature greenhouse is known as a cold frame. The interior of a greenhouse exposed to sunlight becomes significantly warmer than the external ambient temperature, protecting its contents in cold weather. Many commercial glass greenhouses or hothouses are high tech production facilities for vegetables or flowers. The glass greenhouses are filled with equipment including screening installations, heating, cooling, lighting, and may be controlled by a computer to optimize conditions for plant growth. Different techniques are then used to evaluate optimality-degrees and comfort ratio of greenhouse micro-climate (i.e., air temperature, relative humidity and vapor pressure deficit) in order to reduce production risk prior to cultivation of a specific crop.
Dalsem – High-Tech Greenhouses. (High Quality, High Yield, Short Growing Season). Desalination
Polytunnel or Hoop House, is a tunnel made of polyethylene, usually semi-circular, square or elongated in shape. The interior heats up because incoming solar radiation from the sun warms plants, soil, and other things inside the building faster than heat can escape the structure. Air warmed by the heat from hot interior surfaces is retained in the building by the roof and wall. Temperature, humidity and ventilation can be controlled by equipment fixed in the polytunnel or by manual opening and closing of flaps. Polytunnels are mainly used in temperate regions in similar ways to glass greenhouses and row covers. Besides the passive solar heating that every polytunnel provides, every variation of auxiliary heating (from hothouse heating through minimal heating to unheated houses) is represented in current practice. The nesting of row covers and low tunnels inside high tunnels is also common. Caterpillar Tunnel Hoophouse Bioshelters is a solar greenhouse managed as an indoor ecosystem. A bioshelter (life-shelter) involves two fields of knowledge and design. The first is architecture designed to nurture an ecosystem within. A bioshelter structure uses glazing to contain and protect the living biology inside, control air exchange and absorb energy. The building exchanges nutrients, gases and energy with the surrounding environment, produces crops, and recycles waste organic material into the soil. Solar energy is stored as heat energy in thermal mass such as water, stone, masonry, soil and plant biomass. The second is the biology inside the bioshelter. Earle Barnhart of the New Alchemy Institute has compared a bioshelter to a contained ecosystem. Solar heat is absorbed and stored in thermal mass to moderate air temperatures and provide heat for later use. Water moves from rainfall to fishponds to soil to plants and finally to water vapor. Year-round habitat is provided for beneficial insects . Ecological relationships between pests and their predators reduce the number of pests. Gases are exchanged among the animals, insects, micro-organisms, soil and plants. Nutrient cycles are developed between fish, plant & soil. Within the bioshelter are a variety of microclimates. The south areas receive the most direct sunlight. The east and west areas can be shaded for a portion of the day. Higher levels in a growing space will be warmer. A well-designed bioshelter, managed by human intelligence, can shelter a community of people, food crops, edible fish, and a diverse ecosystem of plants, animals and soil life.
Plant Nursery is a building with glass walls and roof used for the cultivation and exhibition of plants under controlled conditions, a place where plants are propagated and grown to usable size. They include retail nurseries which sell to the general public, wholesale nurseries which sell only to businesses such as other nurseries and to commercial gardeners, and private nurseries which supply the needs of institutions or private estates. Nurseries may supply plants for gardens, for agriculture, for forestry and for conservation biology.
Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, the method of growing plants without soil, using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. Terrestrial plants may be grown with only their roots exposed to the mineral solution, or the roots may be supported by an inert medium, such as perlite or gravel. The nutrients in hydroponics can be from fish waste, duck manure, or normal nutrients.
Hydroculture is the growing of plants in a soilless medium, or an aquatic based environment. Plant nutrients are distributed via water.
Hydroponics is the science of growing plants without soil— although the plants may or may not be suspended in a solid medium such as gravel, or expanded clay balls.
Soil retains minerals and nutrients, which “feed” flora, as we all know. Plant roots can’t absorb dirt, however; when water passes through soil, it dissolves and collects some of the nutrient particles embedded. This “food” solution is absorbable as a liquid. As you can see, the soil itself is not an integral part of a plant’s feeding cycle– it is simply a stabilizer for the roots, and a convenient filter. Why eliminate the soil? Plants breathe air, just like humans. School children are taught a simple lesson: plants take in carbon dioxide, and release oxygen. The entire plant– not just leafy material– contributes to this process. If not properly maintained, soil can retain too much moisture, effectively suffocating (“drowning”) a plant’s root system. Alternatively, if the soil doesn’t contain enough moisture, the plant will be unable to absorb the nutrients it needs to survive.
The roots of a hydroponic plant have constant access to both air and water, and it can be much easier to maintain that balance since the roots are typically visible.
The average plant needs at least five things to survive. Air, water, nutrients, minerals, and light. So long as you can provide these things in plenty, your plants should stay healthy.
Growing your own food can be a rewarding experience. If your hydroponic system is indoors, you can grow food during the off-season too. You’ll also save money on pesticide-free produce and knowing your food wasn’t shipped from a third-world farm that may be supporting bad business practices, like farm worker abuse
Although not necessary for the survival of a plant, substrate can help to support a plant physically and hold it upright, either by securing the root system, or by outweighing the plant itself. There are many kinds of substrates commercially available. Check your local greenhouse or hardware store. Alternatively, there are plenty to be found outdoors, especially near bodies of water. Even simple rock can alter the PH of your system. When checking your PH balance, be sure to check it after it has circulated through your substrate.
In the moisture-rich conditions hydroponics typically provide, substrate can be generally classified into the following categories: sandy, granular, and pebbled.
Sandy environments consist of particles between .06 (fine) and 2mm (coarse) in diameter. Even coarse sand retains a considerable amount of water (except in comparison to soil), and is not generally considered appropriate for use in a hydroponic system. If you use a pump, for example, the small particle size may lead to clogging. However, it is cheap and readily available, and, when wet, is heavy enough to provide a reasonable anchor for plant roots. There is some absorbable nutrient in sand. Typically speaking, the nutrients latent in sand culture vary widely on the substrate’s color and origin. Most sand contains a large quantity of shell fragments, and thus has a high calcium content. Black sand usually has a high magnetite content originating from volcanic rock, known for its fertility. Orange or yellow sand might be an indicator of a high iron content. White sand tends to be very high in silica, which helps build healthy cell walls in plantlife. Diahydro, for example, is made from diatoms, a type of algae. Sand is semi-reusable. Sterilizing it between uses can be messy. (Sand can be sterilized by boiling it in water for extended periods of time.)
Granular particles range between 2 and 4mm. This may consist of gravel, or plant mulch. Stone gravel makes a heavy, non-biodegradable anchor for plant roots, and is highly recommended for use in hydroponic systems. Stone gravel contains very little latent plant nutrition, just like sand. There are several grades of gravel readily available to choose from.
Creek rock and Pea Gravel consist of round, shiny stones. The smooth shape of these stones allows for great aeration and root growth, although the drainage may be excessive. Crushed rock is typically made by crushing large chunks of limestone or dolomite into smaller pieces. Crushed rock has sharper edges than creek rock, and tends to interlock better. This tighter knit makes for higher water retention, although limestone tends to weigh less. Limestone is a strong alkali. Check your PH, and balance accordingly.
Stone-based substrate is highly re-useable. It is considerably less messy than sand to boil for sterilization. If weight is not a concern (ie: the plants you grow are not expected to reach considerable heights) you might consider using a plant mulch, such as peat mulch, cedar shavings, or coir (coconut peat). Mulches retain a high quantity of water, but also breathe very well. Mind you, they are also highly degradable, which can lead to clogged pumps, and wood shavings often contain aromatic oils which can inhibit plant growth. Mould and algae growth poses a higher risk when mulches are involved, but pose one considerable advantage over rocky substrate: they can be composted and replaced with fresh material. It does not need to be stored. I wouldn’t suggest re-using ’em, anyway. This is especially convenient if you use hydroponic systems exclusively to start seeds, or grow during the off-season.
Pebbled substrate measures between 4 and 64mm. Stone pebbles have the basic characteristics of creek rock. They are typically smooth, often shiny, and the gaps between the stones make for low water retention and high aeration. The shinier the stone, the worse the water retention will be. A matte or pockmarked surface indicates a porous stone, which will stay damper, longer, whilst still providing excellent aeration. Pebbles– especially the porous variety– can explode when heated for sterilization.
You should boil your substrate between uses to sterilize it. Bacteria love warm, wet environments and will probably thrive in a hydroponic system. Algae loves wet and warm (and lukewarm… and cold) systems, too, and it can look unsightly. If you care about appearances, boiling your substrate between uses will discourage blossoming, but if you use grey (recycled from previous use) water you’ll be fighting a losing battle.
Mirabel Boston Premium Lettuce enriches the water with vitamins and minerals needed for growth and health of the plants, along with controlled for optimal results, such as temperature, light, humidity, etc. This technique requires strict safety procedures and sanitation. Avoiding the waste of water through reuse, eliminating the use of herbicides and fungicides and greatly reduces the use of pesticides. When all these conditions are combined, the lettuces are more tender, less fibrous than conventional agricultural methods.
I love farms that can supply Living lettuce with its roots intact. Delivering fresh lettuce with roots still attached lets moisture and nutrients continue to supply nourishment. Grown in a greenhouse using no pesticides or herbicides, delicious!
Aquaponics refers to any system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In normal aquaculture, excretions from the animals being raised can accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity. In an aquaponic system, water from an aquaculture system is fed to a hydroponic system where the by-products are broken down by Nitrifying bacteria initially into nitrites and subsequently into nitrates , which are utilized by the plants as nutrients, and the water is then recirculated back to the aquaculture system. Hydroponics.
Edible Seaweed are algae that can be eaten and used in the preparation of food. They typically contain high amounts of fiber and are a complete protein. They may belong to one of several groups of multicellular algae: the red algae, green algae, and brown algae.
Carrageenan are a family of linear sulphated polysaccharides that are extracted from red edible seaweeds. They are widely used in the food industry, for their gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties. Their main application is in dairy and meat products, due to their strong binding to food proteins. There are three main varieties of carrageenan, which differ in their degree of sulphation. Kappa-carrageenan has one sulphate group per disaccharide, Iota-carrageenan has two, and Lambda-carrageenan has three.
Seaweed Farms suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and counteract ocean acidification. Seaweed grows at 30 to 60 times the rate of land-based plants, so it can draw out lots of C02, and grows enough protein to feed a population of 10 billion people.
Strong Arm Farm sustainably Harvested Sonoma Coast Seaweeds in Sonoma County, California.
Ecoqube desktop ecosystem that uses basil to filter water aquaponics.
Improving Ecosystems with Aquatic Plants. Study shows how to grow aquatic plants in large-scale plant production systems. Wetland restoration is critical for improving ecosystem services, but many aquatic plant nurseries do not have facilities similar to those typically used for large-scale plant production. This study attempts to determine what methods would effectively benefit the large-scale production of aquatic plants as a possible resource of bolstering the improvement of the ecosystems.
Aquaculture is the farming of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic plants, algae, and other aquatic organisms. Aquaculture involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions, and can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is the harvesting of wild fish. Mariculture refers to aquaculture practiced in marine environments and in underwater habitats.
Algaculture is the farming of species of Algae, which is an informal term for a large, diverse group of photosynthetic organisms which are not necessarily closely related, and is thus polyphyletic. Included organisms range from unicellular genera, such as Chlorella and the diatoms, to multicellular forms, such as the giant kelp, a large brown alga which may grow up to 50 m in length. Most are aquatic and autotrophic and lack many of the distinct cell and tissue types, such as stomata, xylem, and phloem, which are found in land plants. The largest and most complex marine algae are called seaweeds, while the most complex freshwater forms are the Charophyta, a division of green algae which includes, for example, Spirogyra and the stoneworts.
Microphyte, which are Microscopic Algae, typically found in freshwater and marine systems living in both the water column and sediment. They are unicellular species which exist individually, or in chains or groups. Depending on the species, their sizes can range from a few micrometers (µm) to a few hundreds of micrometers. Unlike higher plants, microalgae do not have roots, stems, or leaves. They are specially adapted to an environment dominated by viscous forces. Microalgae, capable of performing photosynthesis, are important for life on earth; they produce approximately half of the atmospheric oxygen and use simultaneously the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide to grow photoautotrophically. Microalgae is the base of the food web and provide energy for all the trophic levels about it. Microalgae biomass is often measured with chlorophyll a concentrations and can provide a useful index of potential production. The standing stock of microphytes is closely related to that of its predators. Without grazing pressures the standing stock of microphytes dramatically decreases.
Fish Farming involves raising fish commercially in tanks or enclosures, usually for food. It is the principal form of aquaculture, while other methods may fall under mariculture. A facility that releases juvenile fish into the wild for recreational fishing or to supplement a species’ natural numbers is generally referred to as a fish hatchery. Worldwide, the most important fish species used in fish farming are carp, tilapia, salmon, and catfish.
Vero Blue Farms onshore, indoor fish farm growing multiple species of fish on land.
Sea Lettuce a group of edible green algae that is widely distributed along the coasts of the world’s oceans. The type species within the genus Ulva is Ulva lactuca, lactuca being Latin for “lettuce”. The genus also includes the species previously classified under the genus Enteromorpha, the former members of which are known under the common name green nori.
Nori is the Japanese name for edible seaweed species of the red algae genus Pyropia, including P. yezoensis and P. tenera.
Micro-Greens is a tiny vegetable green that is used both as a visual and flavor component or ingredient primarily in fine dining restaurants. Fine dining chefs use microgreens to enhance the beauty, taste and freshness of their dishes with their delicate textures and distinctive flavors. Smaller than “baby greens,” and harvested later than “sprouts,” microgreens can provide a variety of leaf flavors, such as sweet and spicy. They are also known for their various colors and textures. Among upscale markets, they are now considered a specialty genre of greens that are good for garnishing salads, soups, plates, and sandwiches. Edible young greens and grains are produced from various kinds of vegetables, herbs or other plants. They range in size from 1” to 3” including the stem and leaves. A microgreen has a single central stem which has been cut just above the soil line during harvesting. It has fully developed cotyledon leaves and usually has one pair of very small, partially developed true leaves. The average crop-time for most microgreens is 10–14 days from seeding to harvest.
Sprouting is the practice of germinating seeds to be eaten raw or cooked. Sprouts can be germinated at home or produced industrially. They are a prominent ingredient of the raw food diet and common in Eastern Asian cuisine. Sprouting, like cooking, reduces anti-nutritional compounds in raw legumes. Raw lentils for example contain lectins, antinutrional proteins which can be reduced by sprouting or cooking. Sprouting is also applied on a large scale to barley as a part of the malting process. A downside to consuming raw sprouts is that the process of germinating seeds can also be conducive to harmful bacterial growth.
Shoot consist of stems including their appendages, the leaves and lateral buds, flowering stems and flower buds. The new growth from seed germination that grows upward is a shoot where leaves will develop. In the spring, perennial plant shoots are the new growth that grows from the ground in herbaceous plants or the new stem or flower growth that grows on woody plants. In everyday speech, shoots are often synonymous with stems. Stems, which are an integral component of shoots, provide an axis for buds, fruits, and leaves. Young shoots are often eaten by animals because the fibres in the new growth have not yet completed secondary cell wall development, making the young shoots softer and easier to chew and digest. As shoots grow and age, the cells develop secondary cell walls that have a hard and tough structure. Some plants (e.g. bracken) produce toxins that make their shoots inedible or less palatable.
Eden Works nutrient-rich Microgreens using aquaponic ecosystems that use 95% less water than conventional farms, no pesticides, and no GMOs. Located in Brooklyn, you’ll find us on the shelf within 24 hours of harvest.
Growing Broccoli Sprouts in a Jar. Add 2 tablespoons of broccoli sprouting seeds to a wide-mouthed quart jar. Cover with a few inches of filtered water and cap with the sprouting lid. Store in a warm, dark place overnight. Can use a kitchen cabinet for this. The next morning, drain the liquid off and rinse with fresh water. Be sure to drain all the water off. Repeat this 3-4 times a day. Continue to store your seeds in a warm, dark place. After a few days, the seeds will start to break open and grow. Eventually, the sprouts will be an inch or so long and have yellow leaves. Now you can move the sprouts out into the sunlight. Continue to rinse them 3-4 times a day until the leaves are dark green. Now they are ready to eat! This whole process will take about a week. Patience is key! Once they are ready, replace the sprouting lid with a standard mason jar lid and store in the refrigerator. How to Grow Organic Broccoli Sprouts in a Mason Jar (youtube).
Sulforaphane, a phytochemical in broccoli sprouts, improves obesity. Cancer prevention by detoxicating chemical compounds taken into the body and by enhancing anti-oxidation ability. Known to exert effects of cancer prevention by activating a transcription factor, Nrf2 (nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2), which regulates the balance of oxidation — reduction in the cell, and by enhancing anti-oxidation ability of the body and detoxication of chemical compounds taken into the body. On the other hand, when the balance of oxidation — reduction is deteriorated due to hyper nutrition and obesity, it has been known to be related to pathogenesis of various diseases. Kanazawa University.
Glucoraphanin enzyme myrosinase transforms glucoraphanin into raphanin, which is an antibiotic, and into sulforaphane, which exhibits anti-cancer and antimicrobial properties in experimental models.
Phytoestrogens are plant-derived xenoestrogens (estrogen) not generated within the endocrine system but consumed by eating phytoestrogenic plants. Also called “dietary estrogens”, they are a diverse group of naturally occurring nonsteroidal plant compounds that, because of their structural similarity with estradiol (17-β-estradiol), have the ability to cause estrogenic or/and antiestrogenic effects, by sitting in and blocking receptor sites against estrogen.
Grow Light is an artificial light source, generally an electric light, designed to stimulate plant growth by emitting a light appropriate for photosynthesis. Grow lights are used in applications where there is either no naturally occurring light, or where supplemental light is required. For example, in the winter months when the available hours of daylight may be insufficient for the desired plant growth, lights are used to extend the time the plants receive light. If plants do not receive enough light, they will grow long and spindly.
Migrolight 2.0 Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density (PPFD)
Photosynthetically Active Radiation or PAR, designates the spectral range (wave band) of solar radiation from 400 to 700 nanometers that photosynthetic organisms are able to use in the process of photosynthesis. This spectral region corresponds more or less with the range of light visible to the human eye. Photons at shorter wavelengths tend to be so energetic that they can be damaging to cells and tissues, but are mostly filtered out by the ozone layer in the stratosphere. Photons at longer wavelengths do not carry enough energy to allow photosynthesis to take place.
Intelligent Gro fully programmable color channels and automated 24 day/night schedules for all phases of plant growth or to replicate any lighting condition, sunrise/sunset, moon lighting, cloudy days or even make up your own spectrum to suit your personal needs. Certain color LED lights can cause food to grow differently.
In indoor growing, to grow 2 pounds of potato’s or tomato’s require about 1,200 kilowatt-hours of electricity for each kilogram of edible tissue they produce? 1,200 kilowatt-hours is the annual electricity consumption of the average American home refrigerator.
There are 3 factors to successfully grow crops with artificial light: Light Quality (recipe), Light Intensity (micromol), Light Duration (hours per day). This is different for every plant but generally the same species will do good under the same parameters. For lettuce we found that red/blue/warm white at a certain ratio seemed to work best for the flavor it gave the lettuce. The specific promotion of vitamin and carotenoid development such as lutein and zeaxanthin gives a good taste.
Engineered light to improve health, food. Intentionally controlled light can help regulate human health and productivity by eliciting various hormonal responses. Tailored LED wavelengths and intensities also can efficiently stimulate plant growth, alter their shapes and increase their nutritional value, opening a new world of scientific and technological possibilities for indoor farming.