China’s hybrid wheat in Pakistan

China’s hybrid wheat, the use of the two-line hybrid technique, has been effectively harvested on a large scale in Pakistan, consistent with a senior professional of a Chinese company which has performed box trials of hybrid wheat types and realized on average 24.4 p.c building up in crop yields.

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Around 150 professionals were sent to Pakistan, the place they visited over 20 towns,” Song Weibo, Vice President of Sinochem Group Agriculture Division, China’s largest agricultural inputs corporate and built-in trendy agricultural services and products operator told the Chinese media.

“The good results from the experiments offer bright prospects for large-scale cultivation of hybrid varieties in Pakistan,” he added.

Song Weibo

“Pakistan’s population has been rapidly increasing, but the country is short on farmland. The project is win-win cooperation,” he added.

Zhao Gancheng

The two-line hybrid technique is steadily used in hybrid rice and wheat. It can building up wheat manufacturing by means of 20 p.c.
The hybrid wheat has been confirmed to outperform standard wheat in relation to yield, water usage and resistance to disease.
Chen Zhaobo, General Manager, CNSGC Hybrid Wheat Seed, a subsidiary of China National Seed Group Co under Sinochem Group Co, which is liable for the hybrid wheat promotion undertaking in Pakistan, said the checks at the hybrid varieties had been carried out in 230 websites, spread over 2,000 hectares of land, most commonly in experimental bases or native farms.

Zhang Shengquan, a professional at the Beijing Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences who oversees the hybrid wheat challenge in Pakistan, said that wheat production in northern Pakistan has higher via 50.1 p.c between 2017 and 2018, mentioning data from

Pakistan’s University of Agriculture Peshawar.

Data from Pakistan-based Guard Agricultural Research and Services Company presentations that all over the same length, wheat production within the country’s center areas has greater through 45 p.c, he added.
Zhang mentioned that drought and top temperatures are the major challenges to planting hybrid wheat in Pakistan. Frequent changes in the insurance policies of the governments also make it difficult to maintain the challenge, he famous.

University of Agriculture Peshawar Professor Muhammad Arif told China Radio International that the arena has been finding out hybrid wheat however nobody has completed China’s stage of luck.

“Pakistan’s population has been rapidly increasing, but the country is short on farmland. The project is win-win cooperation,” he added.

Zhao Gancheng

With the lend a hand from Chinese experts, the method may yield round 6,000 kilograms in step with hectare, twice that of native wheat manufacturing, Arif stated, including it would free up land for different agriculture products.
Zhao Gancheng, director of the Shanghai Institute for the International Studies Center for Asia-Pacific Studies, stated the mission may just lend a hand Pakistan make certain food security and likewise promote China-Pakistan ties.

Soil organic cover

Keeping the soil coated is a basic principle of CA. Crop residues are left at the soil floor, but quilt crops is also wanted if the space is too lengthy between harvesting one crop and establishing the following. Cover plants reinforce the stability of the CA gadget, not simplest on the growth of soil homes but also for their capability to advertise an larger biodiversity in the agro-ecosystem.

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While commercial plants have a marketplace value, cover vegetation are mainly grown for their impact on soil fertility or as livestock fodder. In areas the place smaller amounts of biomass are produced, comparable to semi-arid areas or areas of eroded and degraded soils, cover plants are advisable as they:

Protect the soil right through fallow sessions.

  1. Mobilize and recycle vitamins.
  2. Improve the soil structure and damage compacted layers and hard pans.
  3. Permit a rotation in a monoculture.
  4. Can be used to keep an eye on weeds and pests.

Cover plants are grown right through fallow sessions, between harvest and planting of commercial vegetation, utilizing the residual soil moisture. Their enlargement is interrupted both prior to the following crop is sown, or after sowing the following crop, however earlier than festival between the two plants starts. Cover vegetation energize crop production, but they also present some demanding situations.

Cover vegetation are useful for:

  1. Protecting the soil, when it does not have a crop.
  2. Providing an extra source of organic topic to reinforce soil construction.
  3. Recycling nutrients (particularly P and K) and mobilizing them in the soil profile to be able to cause them to extra readily to be had to the next plants.
  4. Provide “organic tillage” of the soil; the roots of a few vegetation, especially cruciferous plants, like oil radish are pivotal and ready to penetrate compacted or very dense layers, increasing water percolation capability of the soil.
  5. Utilizing easily leached nutrients (particularly N).

Different crops, with diverse rooting programs, discover other soil depths within the profile. They may also be able to take in different amounts of nutrients and bring distinct root exudates (natural acids) leading to benefits each for the soil and for the organisms.

The presence of a mulch layer (of useless vegetation) in conservation agriculture inhibits the evaporation of soil moisture, yet results in better water infiltration into the soil profile. The share of rainwater that infiltrates the soil depends on the amount of soil quilt provided.

As other quilt plants produce other quantity of biomass, the density of the residues varies with other vegetation and thus the ability to increase water infiltration.

Vegetative quilt is essential in CA for the security of the soil towards the affects of raindrops; to stay the soil shaded; and maintain the perfect imaginable moisture content material. We have seen their importance for nutrient recycling; however they even have a physical and, in all probability, an allelopathic effect on weeds, depressing their occurrence and resulting in a reduction in agrochemical use and thus in manufacturing prices.

Straw residues function as a cushion that reduces the pressure on the soil below wheels and hooves and they play an important role in lowering soil compaction.

Rice Farming Season Is Here – and So Are the Aigamo Ducklings

The get started of the rice farming season additionally alerts the peak period for shipping Aigamo ducklings for Tsumura, the Kawachi duck sales corporate in Matsubara City, Osaka. Raised in the principle farm’s hatchery, the ducklings are used to steer clear of reliance on insecticides and agri-chemicals in rice farming. It’s called the Aigamo method.

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The ducklings are expecting their second to polish, quacking adorably and swimming in circles. The corporate estimates it is going to send about 2,000 ducklings by means of mid-June. The ducklings will likely be active in exterminating pesky bugs and weeds within the waterbeds of the rice fields in all regions of Japan that have finished the initial rice planting section.

Kawachi CEO Yoshihiko Tsumura wishes the Aigamo ducklings excellent good fortune on this exciting journey. “I hope for their best, so we can make safe and delicious rice,” he said lately.
Many natural farms within the rural regions of Japan that implement the Aigamo means prolong an invitation to town dwellers to become Aigamo rice field house owners. Essentially those who soak up the offer might be investing in wholesome produce and supporting the sustainability of organic farms at the very reasonable charge of ¥36,000 Japanese yen ($320 U.S. greenbacks).

The go back on investment pays smartly for the Aigamo rice field’s city proprietor. In the case of Organic Farm Taniguchi in Hyogo Prefecture, house owners obtain 50 kilograms of brown rice and a platter of duck meat (two ducks) valued at over ¥50,000 Japanese yen (about $450 U.S. dollars). Alternatively, you can be an owner for a smaller box costing ¥12,400 Japanese yen and receive 15 kilograms of rice with a plate of duck meat (one grown duck).

It’s first-come-first-served—there are only a limited choice of fields, and orders to sponsor them get crammed up by means of overdue June. Next yr’s Aigamo rice orders begin the following month, in July. It’s secure to say the demand is high, and there are many other folks supporting organic farming.

For those who fail to spot the potential of changing into an Aigamo rice box owner, all is not lost. Farms host events where other folks can come and plant the rice seedlings from the middle of May. The value of participation levels from ¥three,000 to ¥five,000 Japanese yen and is half-price for fundamental school students. The day is guaranteed to give participants an insightful enjoy of the onerous paintings farmers handle on a annually foundation. The rice planting occasions occur—rain, hail, or shine—thus weeding out the weak from the cruel.

Farmers across Japan are using ducks instead of pesticides

On his six-hectare farm within the village of Keisen, on Japan’s Kyushu island, Takao Furuno, 61, grows rice and wheat without chemical substances. He rediscovered an historic rice-growing follow involving the use of ducks. Dozens of these birds, raised at the farm, patrol the paddy fields. They feed on bugs and weeds, without touching the crops.

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Their wading oxygenates the water and stirs up the soil. Their droppings are a herbal fertiliser. Furuno has reduce manufacturing costs and boosted output via a couple of 3rd when compared along with his neighbours, who use chemical fertilisers. He sells the geese too. Some 10,000 Japanese farmers have purchased

The Power of Duck [sic], the e book he printed in 2000. In 2011 the method was once successfully tried out in Camargue, southern France. The pattern in rice cultivation in Japan, which supplies a livelihood for 1.four million families, is, then again, towards higher farms and more extensive manufacturing.

Rice Production in Myanmar/Paddy Cultivation in Myanmar

Rice Production in Myanmar/Paddy Cultivation in Myanmar


Rice remains the main food in Myanmar. In terms of the production of rice, Myanmar is placed in the sixth position in the world’s rice production. Grown on ver 8 million ha, meaning that more than half of the country’s arable land, rice is the country’s most important crop not only in terms of countries GDP but also in providing the food security for the country and the rest of the world. The country has seen significant growth from 18 million tonnes to 22 million tonnes of rice production from 1995 to 2010. The growth is accounted for the expansion of the area and yield increase with advanced techniques.

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Despite having explosive growth in production, Myanmar has seen a dramatic drop in the in the rice exports during the period. It was attributed to the drastic growth of the country’s population that needed more food. Although the country’s annual per capita rice consumption has been declined slightly from 170 kg to 141 kg during 1990 and 2009; however, the total rice consumption has been increased by more than 60% in the same period on the account of the surge in population size. In parallel to the small drop in consumption of rice per capita, caloric intake per person from rice has been declined from 68.4% (1,451 kcal) per day to 48.3% (1,204 kcal) during the same period; however, it has been supplied from the other crops from 23.7% per day to 34.3% per day in the same period. This decrease in per capita from rice has shown the daily protein intake falling sharply from 63.6% to 34.5%. Looking back in history, Myanmar has been stood as a major rice exporter in the world, but this role has become dull due to multiple reasons in recent years.

Despite the negative situations, rice is the most important crop for Myanmar agriculture that dominates the country’s economy, but it still has great potential to increase rice production by the improvement in the several aspects such as land reclamations, effective mechanization and inputs, and good infrastructure development in both rural and urban areas. Unfortunately, the country is now importing the rice about 0.02 million tonnes annually. As the long-term trend in per capita, rice production has been reduced, the agriculture needs to be reformed and revitalized through the climate resilient and advanced technologies to bring the past glory of the country in the rice exports and increase the protein intake of the country.

Economic Contribution of the Agriculture in Myanmar

Major occupation in Myanmar is agriculture, but it possesses moderate natural resources in several parts of the country; therefore, agricultural production has been dramatically decreased. The agricultural sector contributes around 13.7% of total export earnings, and a shared GDP of 37.8%, by which the country employs 61.2% of the labor force. Owing to the various agro-ecological

conditions and large arable land area in Myanmar, several agricultural products are produced abundantly. Among all agricultural activities, rice is the major crop in terms of both the economy and food security of the country. Therefore, efficient rice production would secure more income and the export revenues for the country because the paddy production alone accounted for about 35% of the total crop area in Myanmar. Therefore, the rice farming in Myanmar potentially makes a crucial step for the reduction of the poverty, improvement in the food security for all farms, fostering a more dynamic rural sector and making the agriculture as a dynamic contributor to the national economy.

Rice Producing Zones in Myanmar

Myanmar has enormous land, good water resources, and a suitable climate for rice farming. A majority of Myanmar’s sown area is planted as the rainfed rice crop during southwest monsoon season (June-August ), whereas summer seasonal rice farming is between November and February in the lower part of the country, and in the central dry zone regions, the farming is from January to March. The rice growing in the country takes about 5-6 months. Few varieties of rice are harvested in November-December including the Ayeyarwady, Bago, and Yangon region in the lower Myanmar. The rice-growing places in Myanmar include rainfed lowland in late-sown and Main area, irrigated lowland, deepwater, and upland. During the monsoon period, rainfed lowland is the area sown bit late in the usual season. Mayin rice can be transplanted only after the monsoon when floodwater recedes. The largest of the ecosystems, the rainfed lowland, and deepwater rice are confined to the delta region and coastal strip of Rakhine State. According to the statistics, nearly 60% of the delta region, including the Ayeyarwady, Bago, and Yangon region of Lower Myanmar, is cultivated the rice under the rain feeding. Based on the rainfall and hydrologic patterns, irrigation is critical in Myanmar’s central dry zone, whereas, in the delta, there is more concern about drainage and flood protection. Most of the country’s upland area is found to be in Mandalay, Sagaing, and Shan states. However, some upland area is found in sloping land of Shan State, which is usually cold in the northern winter.

Rice is grown in several parts of the country and the percentage of the rice growing in the states and divisions of the country are as follows. The major portion of the rice growing is in the Delta of the Ayeyarwady River comprising of 33.59 % of the total harvested area, which is followed by Bango Division 17.72%, Yangon Division 10.07%, Sagaing Division 8.88%, Shan Stage 5.95%, Rakhine State 5.84%, Mon State 4.97%, Mandalay Division 4.89%, Midway Division 3.25%, Kachin State 1.93%, Tanintharyi Division 1.5%, Chin State 0.59%, Kayah State 0.5%, and Kayin State 0.31%.

Varieties of Rice Farming in Myanmar

Myanmar grows varieties of the rice breeds and there are more than 20 varieties of rice farming in Myanmar. The list of the names includes Nga-seindu-me, Byat-ga-lay, Ka-mar-ky, Maung-nyo, Shan-nyein, Nga-kywe, Emataamagyi, Pin-to-sein, Shwe-che-gyin, Hnan-war-mee-kauk, Yar-ma-gy, Let-ywesin, Let-ywe-sin-ma, Ye-baw-sein, Shwe-din-gar, Sein-ta-lay, Hmawbi-1, Hmawbi-2, Hmawbi-3, Hmawbi-4, etc

Climate in Myanmar

Despite Myanmar being the Asian monsoonal region, the climate is significantly modified by the relief and geographic position. The transport of the air masses towards Myanmar by the monsoons influences the climate of the country. Snow to the northern mountains are brought by the cold air masses of Central Asia; therefore, the country is severely affected by the Asian monsoon winds. As we know, the mountain ranges and valleys do control the precipitation patterns in the regional sense. The country has mountains and valleys which creates precipitation patterns. Alignment of south-north ranges and valleys create a harmonic pattern of alternate zones of torrential rains and drought-prone scanty precipitations during both the monsoons- Southwest and Northeast. Although both the monsoons bring the rains in the country, the southwest monsoons result in major precipitation in the country. However, because of low-pressure creation, the west coast is occasionally subjected to tropical cyclones.

Myanmar has three distinct climatic seasons- cool, rainy and hot. During the late October to mid-February, the relatively dry northwest monsoons make the climate cold. As said earlier, the southwest monsoons result in most of the rains in the country during the mid-May to late October. The middle of the northwest and southeast monsoonal season (mid-February to mid-May) transport the hot and dry winds towards the country. As is obvious from the southwest monsoon, the coastal regions, the western and southeastern mountain ranges receive at least 5,000 mm of rain annually, while the flat and delta regions receive about half of the coastal regions. Being away from the coasts and leeward side, also known as the rain shadow region, of the mountain ranges, such as the Rakhine, the Central region receives the least amount of precipitation ( only 500 to 1,000 mm per year). Because, if its elevation, the Shan Plateau usually receives the precipitation of range between 1,900 and 2,000 mm per year.

Soil Types and Fertility for Rice Farming in Myanmar

The land-use division at the Myanmar Agricultural Service takes care of the country’s soil surveys and maps the soils. The soil, in terms of texture classification, comprises silt, sand, and clay. The soils in which the major portion is silt is classified as alluvial or fertile soil. They are found in any region of the country, the river plains, deltas, former lakes, and coastal areas, regardless of relief. The reaction from the soils are usually neutral and being the young soils developed from the recent alluvial deposits at the river plains, the soils are rich in plant nutrients. Easily tilled, these are very important soils for agriculture. They are good for rice, vegetables, pulses and beans, chilli, sugarcane, plantation crops, and maize. Along with the alluvial soils, there different subtypes of Meadow soils that are widely occurred in many parts of the country’s river plains, delta, and low coastal plains and valleys. All types of Meadow soils contain mostly clay texture and have thick solum. These soil types are most suitable for the paddy cultivation. The Dry zone Meadow soils in upper Myanmar have the characteristics of light colors. These are Meadow soils with neutral reaction; however, some of the Meadow soils have the alkaline reactions. The alkalinity in those regions is attributed to the occurrence of the carbonates in the soils. Although having a deficiency in plant nutrients, these soils may be used for pulses and vegetables.

The Meadow soils are found in the elevated mountainous region having high rainfall and the Meadow soils of the lower Myanmar. The lower soils are yellow-brown in color with acid to neutral soil reaction as these meadows soils occur near the river plains with occasional tidal floods, which are noncarbonate. However, they usually contain greater amounts of salts and contain more plant nutrients than the Meadow soils of Upper Myanmar. Regardless of the more content of iron, the soils may be utilized for rice and vegetables. Meadow Alluvial soils (aka fluvic Gleysols) can be found in the flood plains of the country. They are the textured with silty clay loam and they can be utilized for groundnut, sesame, sunflower, jute, sugarcane, and vegetables in addition to rice cultivation. They are neutral in the soil reaction and are rich in available plant nutrients. The Meadow Gley soils (Gleysol) and Meadow swampy (Histic Gleysol) occur in the regions of lower depressions where the lands are inundated for more than 6 months in a year. The soil texture in these types are from clayey to clay, and they usually have a very strong acid reaction, and may also contain a large amount of iron. Moreover, these type of soils with long periods of moisture content may contain a large amount of soluble iron, aluminum, sulfur, and manganese by a chemical process; therefore, the soils may be toxic to plants. Because of the humus content is high and usually deficient in phosphorus and potassium, rice and jute can be grown on these soils after the floods recede.

The Dry zone Dark Compact soils occur in the plains of Sagaing, Mandalay and Magway divisions. They usually occur on the lowlands near the rivers and broad depression in the areas of Red Brown Savanna Soils. They are good soils for agriculture in the Dry zone area. The texture is mostly clayey and the soils are deep. Found on the level plains, they are known to be the best soils for irrigated farming. Due to high clay content, it is too difficult to work when the soil is either too dry or too have excessive moisture. In these soils, the humus content is very low and in the dry state, they are deeply cracked. However, after rains, they quickly turn into mud and sticky. Because of low pore-size, the infiltration in these soils is also very poor. Consequently, more care should be taken for saline and alkali problems. The soils are alkaline with the pH ranging from 7 to 9 so they may be strongly calcareous. They are deficient in nitrogen and phosphorus, but the potassium is high. Also, these soils contain a considerable amount of calcium and magnesium. Contained the required nutrients, the soils can be used for rice farming under sufficient irrigation.

Nutrient Management for Rice Farming in Myanmar

Fertilizer use in Myanmar has been decreasing and notably very low. In 2009, the farmers applied only 5 kg NPK per ha of arable land, which was just 25% of the amount applied in 1995. Therefore, it shows a much lower level for rice production. Despite the lesser use of fertilizer in some areas, the production of rice went up at 3% per year in 2005-10. Although the modern varieties are cultivated extensively, the farmers are not achieving the yield potential of these modern varieties because of lower amounts of inputs (e.g., fertilizer and herbicide) are applied. The statistics show that rice yield surged to 4.1 t/ha in 2010 from about 3 t/ha in 1995 and yield growth rate was 1.9% per year during 2005-10. Also, the yield of rice reached 4 t/ha in 2008 but stagnated since then. It could be attributed to the lower amount of fertilizer applied by rice farmers.

Rice Production in Myanmar: Constraints and Opportunities

In the country, a provision of credit facilities enables the farmers to buy the agricultural inputs needed to achieve higher yield/production. Also, adequate irrigation facilities are required for a steady and the required supply of water, rather than depending solely on erratic rainfall especially in the central plains or dry areas. In addition to these, better rice mills, storage facilities, and roads for farm-to-market would ensure the high-quality milled rice for exporting. A premium price and the lower transportation costs for farmers’ ensures the economy of the agricultural families and the countries economy of the whole country. In the context of the above, the following set of interventions would improve the country’s agricultural economy: (1) increase access to credit for the farmers, traders, and millers; (2) increase the farm-gate price of paddy in order to encourage farmers to produce more paddy; and (3) provide finance for small-scale village infrastructure projects to increase demand for wage labor for the rural poor. In this regard, the government provides credit programs for low-income farmers in the Mandalay region. In addition to this, to buy rice seeds and other agricultural inputs, the private companies are encouraged by the government to provide microfinance to rice farmers.

 Efficient utilization of machinery, in the entire process of rice farming – land preparation, harvesting, and post-harvesting activities, is needed for the increase in cropping intensity and the productivity. After the country’s independence, agriculture mechanization schemes involving in the distribution of farm machinery to farmers were implemented by the government. Although the required machinery is produced, it is not sufficient. Myanmar is still lag behind in modern agricultural production, especially in the application of farm mechanization, although it has been exploring the use of agricultural machinery for crop cultivation instead of traditional cattle and manpower. The use of advanced agricultural tools such as tillers, and other machinery in rice production is paramount; it would raise rice productivity, the processing time is reduced, and increases the economy of the country. The modern agricultural tools not only increases land and labor productivity but reduce the intervention of human and animal labor. The effort in this regard was entirely successful due to the lack of skilled and experienced manpower. As a result, agricultural production in Myanmar is more or less traditional still. In conclusion, Myanmar is a top ten rice producing country with overall exporting in the past but the present a small quantity of rice is being imported because of explosive growth in the country population. Despite being potential to increase the production further, the fertilizers, and advanced machinery usage and management is a critical factor to lag behind improve the production of the rice in Myanmar. Furthermore, a major part of the rice cultivation is rainfed, but the climate in Myanmar is not consistent; therefore, the climate also affects the production of the rice. However, advanced irrigation techniques may improve production significantly.

Rabbit Farming for Meat

To fulfill the meals demand for growing population, we have to to find out other ways of meals manufacturing. The rabbit known as “Micro-Livestock” generally is a great supply of food manufacturing. There is a great opportunity of rabbit farming in our country. Rabbit needs small position and no more food for survival. Rabbit meat contains high ratio of protein, power, calcium and vitamin than other species of animal.

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The cholesterol fat and sodium is less than other meat. The meat of rabbit may be very testy, easily ate up and all non secular people can consume it. They grows very fast and the female rabbit produce 2-8 baby every time.

Rabbit Farming for Meat

They eat very low quality food and make prime quality of meat. Raising rabbit is usually a great source of revenue supply to the unemployed people and landless farmers. So, we need to elevate rabbit to meet the call for of protein in addition to to scale back poverty from our society.

We generally elevate rabbit as puppy. But if we raise them commercially then it will be a perfect source of source of revenue and a wonderful means of employment. The annual demand of meat in our country is about six million lots. But most effective a million lots of meat produced in our country, remainder of the meat we import from foreign nation.

According to the call for simplest 15-20 % of animal protein comes from the cattle which could be very less compared to the requirement. Further, this demand is increasing with population expansion.

An grownup person needs 120 grams of meat day-to-day. But we get best 20 grams on a mean. So, we will consider rabbit farming as a possible direction of animal protein. It is so easy to take care of rabbit farm than other animals. Every particular person of the circle of relatives can handle it.

Species of Rabbit:
There are many species of rabbit are available in our country. Among those Dark Gray (inner), Fox, Dutch, New Zealand White, New Zealand Black, New Zealand Red, Belgium White and Chinchilla are maximum favourite.

Rabbit Meat Quality
In many analysis it has discovered that, young rabbit meat is very top quality than the grownup rabbit meat. And the meat quality of male rabbit is high than female rabbit meat.

In many analysis it has discovered that, young rabbit meat is very top quality than the grownup rabbit meat. And the meat quality of male rabbit is high than female rabbit meat.

The quantity of ldl cholesterol and lipids increases and decreases protein with the increase of the rabbit age. On the opposite hand, female rabbit meat contains more lipid, fats and cholesterol.

Benefit of Rabbit Farming:
There are many benefits of farming rabbit. The primary advantages of raising rabbit in step with our country economic and ecological condition are described bellow.

.The rabbit is a very fast breeding animal.
.Their food changing fee is best than different animals.
.One female rabbit can provide delivery 2-eight child rabbit at a time.
.Rabbit will also be raised in a short place.
.More manufacturing can also be made in little cost.
.Rabbit meat may be very nutritious.
.In meat production it has a place after poultry.
.Wast subject matter of the kitchen, grass, plant leaves and so forth. are favourite food of rabbit. So, we will be able to elevate them using this commodities.
.Family exertions can be successfully carried out to rabbit farming.

Method of Raising Rabbit:
With a small investment we will be able to make area for rabbit in our house backyard or in development roof and get started rearing rabbit. We could make house for rearing rabbit in two methods.

Deep Litter Method:
This means is acceptable for less quantity of rabbit. The flooring will have to neatly made concrete. 4-5 inches intensity litter must make with husk, rice straw or wooden lath. In this technique at most 30 rabbit can be raised. The male rabbit will have to keep in a separate room from the female. In this method the possibilities of being suffering from sicknesses is prime. Moreover, it is vitally tricky to control the rabbit in this system.

Cage Method:
To stay rabbit commercially this technique is the most efficient. In the program the rabbit are saved in a cage made with iron plate. This cage could be very useful for raising more rabbit. In each and every cage it need to have the facilities of vital space. Male and female rabbit should stay break free every different. They should stay in identical rood when thy want mating to supply child rabbit.

Food Management
Food eating rate and nutrient requirements varies in step with the rabbit age and species. For right kind nutrition of an adult rabbit its food must contain 17-18 % crude protein, 14 p.c fiber, 7 % minerals and 2700 kilo calorie/kg of metabolic power.

Green leafy greens, seasonal vegetable, spinach greens, carrots, Muller, cucumber, inexperienced grass and vegetable wast can easily used as the food of rabbit. For business goal poultry food can also be served to feed the rabbit. Accordance with right kind food management they will have to provide sufficient water in line with their call for. Thus a farmer can be good fortune in rabbit farming.

Wheat Production Technology in Punjab

Cotton zone, Central/ mixed zone & Rice zone

B-       RAIN FED
Rain-fed Zone

Total wheat area: 6.719 million acres
i) Districts
Sahiwal, Khanewal, Vehari, Lodhran, Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur, Layyah, D.G. khan, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnager and Rahimyar khan
ii)           Cropping pattern
Cotton-wheat, Mung-wheat, Sugarcane-wheat, Kharif fodder/maize-wheat
iii)          Commercial wheat varieties 

Name of VarietiesTime of plantingRemarks
Inqilab-91Nov.10 –Dec.15High yielding disease resistant, lodging resistant and general purpose variety suitable for rich soils under normal and late planting
Punjab.96Nov.1 –Nov.30High yielding variety having durable resistance against rust diseases and suitable for early to normal planting with good performance under sandy soils
M.H.97Oct.25– Nov.30High yielding variety with better adaptability, and good tillering capacity, suitable for early to normal planting
Pasban.90Nov.1 – Nov.30High yielding slow rusting variety suitable for saline areas
Bwp.97Nov.15– Dec.15Recommended for irrigated areas of south Punjab for late planting
Augab.2000Nov.01- Dec.15Recommended for early and late planting in irrigated areas of Punjab
Iqbal.2000Nov.15-Dec.15Recommended for late planting in irrigated areas of the Punjab.
Chenab-2000Oct.25-Nov.30Recommended for early and normal planting in the irrigated areas.

Note: Maximum planting should be completed by 30th November and in no case should be extended
beyond mid December.

iv) Seed treatment and seed rate. Healthy and clean seed of recommended varieties should be used
@ 50-60 Kg/ac. Seed should be treated with appropriate systemic fungicide.

iv)          Planting method

Rabi drill or ‘Kera’ should be practiced to ensure better yields.

Type of soil(KG)Bags

Note:- All the NPK fertilizer should be applied at the time of sowing

in case of late planting in December (NP ratio 1.5:1 or 1:1).

Common weeds: Phalaris minor (Dumbi sitti), Avena fatua (Wild oats),

                          Chenopodium (Bathu) & Convolvulus (Lehli).

            vi)                   Weed control

          Cultural: Double bar harrow should be practiced.

          Chemical: i) Selective weedicides for broad and narrow  leaved weeds should be used.

  1. ii) Wide spectrum weedicides can be used when both types of weeds are problem.

Note:–          i) Weedicides should be applied after Ist irrigation in good moisture condition

                   when weeds are at 2-3 & wheat crop at 3-4 leaf stages.

  1. ii) Herbicides belonging to the same group or family should not be repeated in the same field,
    the following year.
iii) Irrigations: Three irrigations are necessary at the critical stages
after ‘rauni’ as given below.
  1. Ist irrigation 20-25 days after sowing.
  2. 2nd     ”                   At boot stage.
  3. 3rd     ”                   At milk stage of grain development.


Total wheat area          3.639 million acres

  1. i)            Districts:

Jhang, Faisalabad, Okara, T.T. Singh, Sargodha, Khushab and parts of Mianwali and Bhakkar.

  1. ii)             Cropping pattern

Sugarcane – Wheat, Cotton – Wheat, Kharif fodder/maize – Wheat, Rice – Wheat, Wheat – Fallow – Wheat & Guar – Wheat

            iii)             Varieties

Inqlab-91, Pasban-90, MH-97, Punjab 96, Auqab-2000 and Iqbal 2000

            iV)             Planting time

Nov.Ist to Nov.25 for obtaining optimum yields and for late planting by Dec.15.

  1. V)             Seed treatment and seed rate

Seed treated with recommended fungicides be used at the                        following rate

                    Normal sowing 50 kg/ac

                    Late sowing           60 kg/ac

          Vi)             Planting method

Line sowing with Rabi drill or ‘Kera’ method should be practiced.

Vii)             Fertilizer application (Kg/ac)                               

Type of soil(KG)Bags

Note:- All the NPK fertilizer should be applied at the time of sowing in case of late planting in December
(NP ratio 1.5:1 or1:1).

Viii)     Weed control

Cultural         ‘Daab’ and double bar harrow.

                    Chemical       Same as mentioned earlier  for Cotton zone.

ix)       Irrigations

Four to five at critical stages of wheat plant growth.

Crown root initiation20-25
Jointing stage50-58
Boot stage90-105
Pollination stage110-120
Dough stage125-135


Total wheat area          3.132 million acres

  1. i)        Districts

Gujranwala, Hafizabad, Sheikhupura, Sialkot, Lahore and Kasur

  1. ii)       Cropping pattern

Rice – wheat (Major), Potato – Wheat,      Sugarcane – wheat, Kharif Fodder/Maize – Wheat, Mash –
Wheat, Sunflower – Kharif fodder – Wheat

iii)      Varieties

Inqilab-91, Pasban-90, Punjab 96, Auqab 2000,Iqbal 2000 and Durum 97 and Chenab 2000.

  1. iv)      Planting time

November 10 to 25 for optimum yields; late planting should be completed by December 15.

  1. v)        Seed treatment and seed rate

Healthy and clean seed of recommended varieties should be used @ 50-60 Kg/ac. Seed
should be treated with recommended systemic fungicides.

  1. vi)      Planting method

Planting with automatic Rabi drill or zero tillage drill is recommended.

vii)     Fertilizer application

Depending upon the type of soil and fertility level as given in case of cotton zone.

viii)     Weed control

As mentioned in case of cotton zone.

  1. ix)       Irrigations

Three irrigations at the following crop stages are enough depending upon rainfall.

1st irrigation 35-45 days after Sowing.

2nd irrigation          at boot stage.

3rd irrigation          at dough stage of grain formation.

Note:  Rainwater should not be allowed to stand in wheat field but be drained out to

low lying areas.


Total wheat area          1.770 million acres

  1. i)         Districts

Rawalpindi, Attock, Jehlum, Chakwal, Narowal and Parts of Sialkot, Gujrat,Layyah,
D.G.Khan, Muzaffargarh, Bhakkar, Mianwali and Khushab.

  1. ii)             Cropping Pattern

Wheat – Fallow – Wheat,     Wheat – Groundnut – Wheat, Wheat – Kharif fodder – Wheat

iii)               Commercial varieties  

Chakwal-86Oct.20 – Nov.15For all Barani areas
Rawal-87Oct.20 – Nov.15For all Barani areas
Kohistan-97Oct.20 – Nov.15For all Barani areas
Chakwal-97Oct.20 – Nov.15For all Barani areas
Inqilab-91NOV.01 – DEC.10For high rainfall & partially irrigated barani areas
  1.  iv)             Seed treatment and seed rate

Healthy and clean seed of recommended varieties should be used

@ 40-50 Kg/ac. Seed should be treated with recommended systemic fungicide.

Note:  In case of low moisture soils, seed should be soaked in water for 8-10 hours before sowing.

  1. v)             Planting methods

Planting with Rabi drill, Pore or Kera should be practiced.

  1. vi) Fertilizer application (Kg/Ac)
LOW RAINFALL 350 mm2323251.00.751.0
MEDIUM RAINFALL 350-500 mm3423251.01.251.0
HIGH RAINFALL ABOVE 500mm4634251.51.501.0

Note: All the fertilizer should be applied at the time of sowing

vii) Weeds:          

Chenopodium(Bathu), Medicago spp. (Maina) Lathyrus spp. (Matri), Asphodelus tenuifolius
(Piazi), Carthamus oxycantha (Pohli)
 etc. All weeds be removed through mechanical
means/manual labour and can be used as fodder for live-stock. The Pre-emergence
weedicides can be used in barani area in  good moisture condition.


  1. Proper seed bed preparation for crop growth and development. Moisture preservation through
    deep ploughing followed by Monsoon rains in Barani areas.
  2. Use of pure and healthy seed of recommended varieties with seed rate of 50 kg/acre for normal
    planting and 60 kg/acre for late planting.
  3. Seed treatment with proper fungicides before planting increases yield by 5-6%.
  4. Planting must be completed by the end of November and for late planting upto 15th of December.
  5. In Barani areas planting should be done with pore or automatic Rabi drill whereas for irrigated areas
    automatic Rabi drill should be preferred.
  6. Use of phosphatic fertilizers along with nitrogen is very essential both under irrigated and rain fed
    conditions. The N:P ratio of 1:1 or 1.5:1 be maintained.
  7. Application of Potash to the wheat crop on tubewell irrigated soils or sandy type soils or crop sown
    after rice, sugarcane etc is essential.
  8. Late planting should be completed by 15 December and all fertilizers be applied at planting time.
  9. Irrigations to wheat at critical stages of crop growth be ensured viz; 12-18 days after germination,
    at booting, milk and dough stages. In rice zone the first irrigation should be applied 30-40 days after
  10. Weed eradication through Daab, double bar harrow or spray of weedicides is very important.
    It should be practiced on vast areas in collaboration with extension services & private herbicide companies.
  11. In sick soils and in Barani areas planting of barley and Wadanak wheat should be preferred. In partially
    affected saline soils wheat variety Pasban-90 can be successfully grown.
  12. Extension service and electronic media should be consulted for improved wheat production.
  13. Supply of inputs must be ensured before planting season at reasonable prices and without adulteration.
  14. Wheat varieties, Pasban 90, MH 97 and Uqab 2000 should not be sown in northern parts of the
    Punjab due to their moderately susceptible reaction against stripe rust.


Dr. Muhammad Aqil Khan


Frequently Asked Questions About Olive Farming (FAQs)

Olive is good source of edible oil and is also used for table purpose particularly for pickles. The olive has not only nutritional and medicinal value but its fat content is also free from cholesterol. It is also used in food preservation, textile industry and cosmetic preparation along with variety of other purposes. Olive oil is one of the few widely used culinary oils that contain about 75% of its fat in the form of oleic acid (a monounsaturated, omega-9 fatty acid). Olive fruit due to its nutritional and medicinal importance is a blessing of Almighty/Allah. Olive has been referred in noble way at many places in the Holy Quran and its importance has been certified by many saying of Holy Prophet.

If you are planing for growing olives, you must read the following Frequently Asked Questions About Olive Farming (FAQs).

Where are olives found in Pakistan?

Olive was introduced first time in Pakistan by PARC during 1986 under an Italian Project titled “Fruit, Vegetable and olive Project” funded by Government of Italy. After this project a general survey was conducted to estimate the number of naturally occurred wild olive specie “Olea Cuspidata” and found more than 80 Million wild Olive plants in different district of Pakistan. Under another olive project of federal government 5.5 million olive plants were top worked but less than 1% plants survived in the result of top working because of management of top worked plants.

Where do olives grow or what kind of climate do you need to grow olives?

Olives grow in the region with sub-tropical and temperate climatic conditions. Hot weather conditions without much shade are suitable for olives. The trees need full sun and light winter chill for the production of fruit. Extremely low temperatures (-10˚C) can damage the mature trees. The average rainfall of the region should be around 650-900 mm.

What are the factors for selecting the variety of olive for farming?

The basic characteristics desirable for selecting olive varieties for farming are:
• Low tree vigour
• Easy harvest
• Large fruit size
• Better yield
• High oil content
• Rich flavour
• Resistant to cold and disease
• Pollinating type
• Flexible maturity season

Can I grow olive tree in Pakistan and what countries are considered as the largest producers of olives?

Yes, the olive tree can be grown in Pakistan only if suitable conditions are available. Olive tree is native to the Mediterranean area and the leading producers of olives are Spain (52 lakh metric tonnes), Italy (32 lakh metric tonnes), Greece (22 lakh metric tonnes) and Turkey (12 lakh metric tonnes). The other countries producing olives are Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, Egypt, Portugal and Algeria.

How many olive trees can you get per acre?

The traditional spacing between olive trees is approximately 7 m or 30 ft. This spacing is no longer used except in regions that are deserted dry farm regions. The high density planting can accommodate 200 to 350 trees per acre i.e. approximately 494 to 865 plants per hectare. The high density system of planting can be used with any variety of olive.
There is one super high density planting system practiced for olive cultivation, where the spacing between plants is 5 x 13 ft. This system can accommodate approximately 2083 trees per hectare.

What is super high density planting in olives and can all varieties be cultivated using this method?

The super high density farming can be used with three varieties of olive trees such as Arbequina, Arbosana and Koroneiki. No other variety of olive is cultivated using this method of spacing because they get too closely spaced after few years. In the super high density system of spacing, the plants are spaced 5 x 13 ft in high vigour sites and 4 x 12 ft in low vigour sites. The Plants in the super high density farming sites are not allowed to grow beyond 9 to 10 ft height and 6 to 7 ft wide. One important thing with super high density farm is that it is difficult to manage the farm in regions with deep soils and high rainfall.

How much olive oil does a tree produce?

Generally, 5 kg of olives are required to make 1 litre of oil. A single mature olive tree can produce at least 15 to 20 kgs of olives each year. Therefore, this means that one tree can help produce 3 to 4 litres of oil each year

How many kilos does an olive tree produce?

The yield from an olive tree greatly depends on the size, age, variety and the growing conditions in the region of the farm. Very tall varieties (40-60 ft high) of olive trees are capable of producing 800 kgs of olives annually. When the trees are pruned to smaller height, they produce an average of 50 kg olives. Watering and fertilizing the plants also improves the yield of the farm.

How much is a ton of olive’s worth?

The price of olives depends on the variety being cultivated. Good quality fresh olives cost around Rs 300 per metric ton. Most of the packed olives available in Pakistan are imported varieties and the exact price of farm grown fresh olives is not known. The above mentioned price could be a possible rate for olives in Pakistan.

Can you grow olives indoors?

Yes, olives can be grown indoors or at home. For growing olive trees at home, some dwarf varieties should be chosen that can grow to a height of 6 ft. If they are grown at home certain conditions have to be maintained for their survival such as:
• Provide them at least 6 hours of direct sunlight.
• Use large containers with proper drainage holes.
• Water the plants as and when needed.
• No additional humid conditions are required for olives at home garden.
• Fertilize the olive tree or plant once in a month to keep it healthy.
• Watch the plant regularly because indoor olive plants are susceptible to scale diseases.
• To stimulate flowering in the plant or tree, it needs a drop in temperature to 50˚F.
• Prune the plants regularly to keep them short.
• Replant the olive plant after one year such the roots have enough space to grow.

Can olive trees grow in pots?

Yes, olive trees can be grown in pots and can survive for many years. The pot required for the olive tree should be very large and should be placed in the sun. The pots should have proper drainage holes. The pot is generally layered with Styrofoam, lava rock, crushed cans at the bottom. Potted olive trees are supplied with slow release fertilizer as recommended. Sometimes root pruning the potted olive plant also helps to increase its lifetime

What is the best fertilizer for olive trees?

When the olive tree is in the growing period, 2 pounds (0.907 kg) of urea or 50 pounds (22.6 kg) of compost is supplied. Young olive trees should be provided with 0.02 kg of urea every month.
Some farmers use a slow release fertilizer containing minor elements like zinc, boron and calcium. Fertilizer for the olive farm should contain at least 10 percent of nitrogen. A fast release fertilizer 10-10-10 or 13-13-13 can also be used for olive trees in recommending quantities

When are the fertilizers applied to the olive trees and how?

Fertilizers should be applied at the base of the plant at a certain distance from the trunk. The farm should be immediately watered after fertiliz er application. Foliar spraying of fertilizers is only done during emergencies or deficiencies. No fertilizer should be applied to the trees during winter (after August till March) because the trees do not grow during this period. Most of the fertilizer is applied during the growing season.

How long does it take for an olive tree to bear fruit?

Depending on the variety of olive tree that is being cultivated, it’s bearing period changes. The normal age at which the plants start bearing fruit is in between 5 to 12 years

How long do olive trees live and how big do olives trees get?

The average life span of an olive tree is expected to be around 500 years. The olive tree can survive under neglected circumstances for many years. A mature olive tree attains a height of 40 ft with a 20 ft wide spread.

How long does it take for the olive seed to sprout?

Under the right atmospheric conditions olive seed takes 40 days approximately to germinate. During the germination period, the seed needs moist soil condition and weed free area.

How do you sprout an olive seed?

The following can be done to grow olive plants from seeds:
• Use a 3 inch container and fill it with well draining soil (one part coarse sand and one part compost).
• Plant the seed to a depth of 1-2 inch and water them as required.
• The pots are bagged into polythene bags to maintain moisture and get some greenhouse effect.
• These bags are placed in a warm and light area for germination to occur.
• Water the area to keep the top two inches of the soil moist.
• Seed germination takes place in one month time.
• Remove the pots from the polythene bags once the sprouting begins and transplant them into a main garden area and continue to water regularly.

Can I grow olive tree from a cutting and how?

Olive trees can be propagated through rooted cuttings by applying the following steps:
• Obtain the cuttings from the mother plant in the month of August or September.
• The cutting should be of pencil thickness and should be obtained from below the point where the leaf emerges (8 inches at the end of the branch).
• Potting soil mixture (one part sand, one part, peat moss and one part vermiculite) is filled into a container (4 inch wide).
• Lightly dampen the soil before planting.
• Remove all the leaves at the lower end of the cutting and dip it in rooting hormone. Then plant this cutting into the potting soil exactly halfway.
• Cover the container and cutting with a plastic freezer bag and place it in the sun.
• Water the cutting when the soil gets dry.
• Remove the plastic after 6-8 weeks (cutting gets rooted)
• Fertilize the seedling suitably and transplant it if required.

How do you prune olive trees?

While pruning the olive trees, it is preferred to make a few well-placed cuts rather than making many small cuts. A lopper or pruning saw is used for this process. Open centre or vase pruning is a very common practice while olive farming so as to facilitate sunlight penetration into the central parts of the tree. Branches that are taller are also removed to keep the height of the tree small (generally done for olive trees grown in containers). Pruning is done once in three years during the period from the end of winter and flowering period. These trees can also be pruned in spring or early summer after the appearance of flower buds. Trimming of the tree has to be always done only after the winter rains are over.

How do you cool and store olives?

Olives should always be packed in ventilated crates and the temperature of the room should not be too warm. The optimum temperature range for storing olives is 41-50˚F. The maximum coldest temperature they can tolerate is 32˚F. The relative humidity of the area or within the room should be 90-95%. Olives can only be stored for 2 weeks at a temperature of 32-40˚F, whereas at proper temperature range they can be stored for approximately 6 weeks

What are the types of designs for permanently set trees in an olive orchard?

The most commonly used design patterns for planting olive trees are:
• Square pattern (equally spaced rows; not generally used when filler trees are planned).
• Offset square pattern (square design with adjacent rows being offset).
• Hexagonal or equilateral triangle pattern (similar to offset square pattern, but with equal distance between trees; accommodates 17.5% more trees per acre than normal).

How are the filler trees within the olive orchard designed?

The design pattern of the orchard is slightly changed than normal when filler trees are used in between the olive trees. The two ways to design the orchard are:
• Hedgerow (spacing of trees is 8 x 16 ft, 9 x 18 ft or 10 x 20 ft; not easy for management; doesn’t provide sunlight to the inner branches due to overcrowding).
• Quincunx (olive trees are arranged in a square pattern with filler tree at the centre of the square; operational cost is higher; filler trees may require separate irrigation line

What type of soil is suitable for the olive trees?

Olives thrive in regions with marginal soils. The soil should be well-aerated and well drained in nature. Shallow soil base should be avoided. Too much sandy soil is not suitable for olive cultivation. Soil with 30% clay and high gravel content is considered best for olive farming. The pH of the soil should be in between 5 to 6.

How much water is required by the olive trees?

A young olive tree is expected to require 15 to 20 litres of water per week during the growing season. Providing irrigation is an important factor for high quality fruit development. The volume of water required by the trees is dependent on the factors like age of the tree, size, humidity, wind, soil texture, soil depth, growth stage, rainfall etc. Drip irrigation system is deployed to irrigate the olive farms.
Some other watering recommendation for olive trees are: newly planted trees (0-1 year tree needs 10 litres of water per week in summer), five year old olive tree needs 675 litres of water per tree, if the soil is bone dry and a ten year old olive tree needs about 1875 litres of water per tree per watering cycle.

How are the olives harvested and when?

The best time for harvesting olives is from late August till November, but again, it depends on the variety of the olive tree and the desired ripeness of the fruit. Olives are initially green in colour, but gradually turn rosy and then black upon ripening. Most of the olive farm practice hand picking method for harvesting olives. Tarps are placed under the olive trees before dislodging the fruits from the tree. A rak e is used if the fruits are being harvested for oil else they are hand-picked.

What water quality should be avoided for irrigating olive trees?

Olive trees should not be irrigated with water that contains more than 2 ppm of boron, more than 3.5 ppm of bicarbonate, more than 3 deciSiemens/m of EC, more than 3 milli equivalents of sodium per litre and more than 345 ppm of chloride.

How are pests and diseases managed on olive farms?

The olive trees are badly affected by anthracnose and peacock spot. The trees are mostly infested by pests like black scale, olive beetles, olive flies, seed wasps, leaf rollers, termites, parlatoria scale, apple weevil, garden weevil, rutherglen bug and olive lace bug. Most of the diseases and pest occur due to improper farm management techniques like poor irrigation, irregular pruning, use of unsterilized equipment, etc. Using recommended fungicides and other management practices can improve the condition and control the spread of diseases.

How is oil extracted from the olives?

The basic steps involved in the making of olive oil are:
• Cleaning the olives after harvest.
• Grinding them into a paste using required equipment/machinery.
• Malaxing the paste for almost 20-45 minutes.
• Separating the oil from the water and solids using two phase centrifuges.
• Additional processing steps like refining (steam processing), bleaching the oil, deodorization etc.

Frequently Asked Questions About Saffron Farming

Frequently Asked Questions About Saffron Farming

FAQ’s on Saffron Farming / Frequently Asked Questions About Saffron Farming:

If you are planning to cultivate saffron crop, you must be aware of some commom questions about Saffron Cultivation. Here we are presenting most Frequently Asked Questions About Saffron Farming, Cultivation and Planting.

1.    What places is saffron grown and which country is the largest producer?

Saffron is considered as an autumn flowering plant, perennial in nature. The eastern mediterranean climate is believed to be the best for growing saffron because this plant descends from that place. Other places which are suitable for saffron cultivation are Eurasia, Iran, Spain, India and Greece. Iran is considered to be the largest producer of saffron in the world accounting to 94% of the total production?

2.            What climate does saffron grow in?

Saffron needs warm subtropical climate for growth. It needs minimum of 8-12 hours of sunlight for proper growth and development. The plants do not need shade. They grow well at altitudes 2000 m above sea level. The temperature range for saffron cultivation is 35-40˚C.

3.            How much does saffron sell for in India?

The selling price of saffron depends on the type of saffron being cultivated. Superior varieties are expected to cost high, whereas low quality saffron is charged less. The average price of saffron is likely found to be around 250-500 per gram.

4.            Where in India is saffron grown?

The major saffron producing state in India is Jammu and Kashmir. Another state where saffron is cultivated is Himachal Pradesh. Overall about 6000 hectares of land produce around 16 thousand kgs of saffron annually in India.

5.            How long does saffron take to grow?

Depending on the variety, saffron plants have different flowering and growing period. Garden varieties grow in about 6 to 10 weeks time. When farmed, the plants take almost a year to grow and blossom before they can be harvested.

6.       How is saffron harvested?

6-8 weeks after planting the corms, the plants are ready for harvest. It is believed that each corm produces 1 flower with 3 stigmas. The flowers should be picked when they open completely. Harvesting should be done during the mid-day of a bright sunny day. Manual picking is the most common way of harvesting these flowers. All the flowers are collected and piled on a table and then the stigma is removed from the flowers for further processing.

7.            How long does saffron last?

Saffron threads have to be dried for storage. If these threads are kept in an airtight container at consistent temperature and no bright light, then it can be stored indefinitely. Dried saffron is expected to have a shelf life of 3 years, but ground saffron lasts only for about 3-6 months.

8.            Can we grow saffron at home?

Yes, when provided the right conditions for growth it is possible to grow saffron at home. Getting the bulbs for planting is easy, but may cost little higher. When growing saffron at home in a small garden area, the bulbs should be planted to a depth of 3 to 5 inches with a minimum spacing of 6 inches.

9.            What is the best time to plant saffron bulbs?

In India, corms are planted in the month of June-July or August-September so that they start flowering in October.

10.         What bulb size should be used for planting and what does the size of the bulb indicate?

The size of the bulb indicates the circumference of the bulbs such as bulb size of 9/10 indicates the circumference of the bulb is in between 9-10 cm. The size of the corm used as planting material for the production of saffron is 7-10 cm, whereas the size of the corm used for new corm production is 2-7 cm.

11.         What type of soil is good for saffron cultivation?

Saffron needs a well drained soil with good organic content. Soil with neutral clay content or silty soil is considered good for saffron farming. The pH level of the soil should be around 6 to 8. Too much clay is not needed by the plants and should be improved by adding soil, peat or compost.

12.         How much water is required by saffron plants and how often should they be watered?

Extreme wet soil is not needed for saffron plants. Under irrigated conditions, the plants need 7 lakh liters/hectare distributed over 10 irrigation cycles. Sprinkler irrigation is most commonly used method for saffron farms.

13.         What is the life span of the saffron crop?

The entire life cycle of the saffron plants can be classified into 5 major stages such as sprouting, flowering, leaf development, development of daughter corms and dormancy. From planting to flowering it takes 30-40 days and continues to flower for 5 or 6 weeks. The leaves of the plant remain green even after the flowering has stopped for about 6 to 8 months during which the new daughter corms are produced. After this the plant slowly turns yellow and dries out. Therefore, approximately the life span of the plant is about one year.

14.         What is the plant spacing between saffron plants?

The corms or bulbs of the plant are planted at a distance of 25 x 15 cm with 2 corms per hill such that one Hectare of land can accommodate 5 lakhs corms. The spacing between rows in the farm should be around 20 x 10 cm.

15.         How does one plant saffron bulbs?

The following steps can be followed for successful planting:

·         Find a location to receive adequate sunlight in the farm area and prepare the soil.

·         Choose healthy ad disease free bulbs from previous saffron plants.

·         Plant the bulbs or corms into holes at a depth of 3-4 inches and spaced at 2-3 inches apart.

·         Soak the soil lightly after planting.

·         When flowering starts, it is considered as the harvesting period.

·         After the blooming season is over, leave the foliage in the farm and keep maintaining them.

·         If in case, the leaves turn yellow, then the foliage has to be removed.

16.    What are the diseases of saffron plant and how can they be controlled?

The most common diseases found in saffron plants are Fusarium wilt, violet root rot and Rhizoctonia crocorum. Spraying copper based sprays that are anti-fungal in nature can be used for treating the plants.

17.         Why is saffron so expensive?

The high price of saffron is often related to its delicate and manual harvesting, which is both labor intensive and risky. The stigma being so light can fall off the flower while harvesting, so extreme care is while harvesting and processing the produce. Also the smell, flavor and other positive attributes make saffron an expensive product.

18.         What part of the plant does saffron grow?

Saffron is the part of the flower; the stigma and style produced in the flower are bright red in color and are generally referred to as saffron after being dried sufficiently. They are thread like structures which are used for seasoning and coloring. Each flower is expected to have three stigmas or thread like structures. This is the only commercially useful part of the entire plant.

19.         What are the saffron varieties cultivated in India?

There are three different varieties of saffron exclusively cultivated in India (Kashmir), they are Aquilla saffron (short variety, less red in colour, less costly), crème saffron (cheapest variety with high floral wastage) and Lacha saffron (dark crimson red in colour, most expensive, exclusive to Kashmir).

20.         What can be done to help saffron plants flower well around the year?

The following tips can be followed to keep the plants healthy and flowering around the year:

·         Corms should be planted to a depth of 10-15 cm.

·         The planting should be done using mature corms.

·         Never trim the leaves of the plant.

·         Add rich potash feed like a liquid tomato or Rose feed at the end of flowering season to boost up the flowering in March.

·         Grow the plants in warm climate, if enough warmth is not available then cover the beds with cloches to keep it warm and nice.

21.    What is the drying process of saffron?

The traditional way of drying saffron involves shade drying for about 27-53 hours, but this way of drying is expected to degrade the crocin content in the saffron. So a better way of drying saffron is to use hot air dryers at a temperature of 40-50˚C for about 4 to 7 hours.

22.         How much fertilizer is required by the saffron farms?

The fertilizer management schedule used for saffron farming is NPK @ 90 kg, 60 kg and 50 kg per hectare respectively. The farm should also be supplied with FYM @ 10 tonnes per hectare and vermicompost @ 25 kg per hectare.

23.         How should the fertilizer be applied to the saffron plants?

The inorganic fertilizers should be applied as a band around the plants. Initially half the quantities of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, vermicompost and FYM are applied as basal dose after 2nd hoeing for the first crop. Another half dose of nitrogen fertilizer is applied after the onset of flowering.

24.         What is corm rot and how is it treated?

There are many reasons for low corm production, but one of the main reasons for stabilized saffron production is corm rot complex caused because of many soil borne pathogens like Fusarium oxysporum, Rhizoctonia crocorum etc. the disease is identified by the yellowing of leaves, wilting, round spots on the corm, leaf drooping and converting corm into black powdery mass. The disease of corm rot can be managed with chemical fungicides like carbendazim or mancozeb etc. Soil solarisation and other biological methods are also used for treating the soil and corms before planting.