Pakistan, Argentina inching closer in agriculture sector

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Pakistan, Argentina inching closer in agriculture sector

FAISALABAD: (APP) Argentine Ambassador to Pakistan Ivan Ivanissevich on Wednesday said his country would assist Pakistan in agricultural sector.

He was addressing the inaugural session of International Conference on "Advances in Agriculture Resource Management" arranged by Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences and Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF).

He said Pakistan was facing a grave loss of around 40% of its crops due to lack of storage and other modern facilities, therefore, Argentine-Pakistan agricultural and educational ties should be further strengthened to get benefit from each others' experiences.

He said storage availability was critical for securing increased returns. Farmers all over the world were facing hard challenges especially in developing countries, he said, adding good management of resources requires higher investments and higher quality of work. So, it was important to maximize the returns, he added.

He said Pakistan was counted amongst the countries that would suffer most from climate change, adding precision agriculture plays a major role in increasing yields.

He stressed the need for creating good interface mechanism between farmers and agricultural experimental stations, centers and universities.

He opined that no-tillage and crop rotation were essential practices for sustainable agriculture to improve soil structure more fertility; water drainage; elimination of erosion, substantial reduction of water evaporation and reduced weed propagation.

He said management of sowing times, fertilization, herbicide/pesticide applications and harvest were crucial in order to obtain high yield.

Speaking on the occasion, UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said half of the country population would be living in urban areas by next 15 years in Pakistan. It would not only increase the burden on the urban areas but also pose a threat to food security.

He said it was a matter of grave concern that industrial influx was being used for the irrigation water that was not fit.

He said soil was being overstretched by the continuous cropping in the field, resulting in low fertility.

He also suggested pricing the water in order to avoid its wastages as we were wasting huge quantity of water, adding Pakistan was placed in the countries which were water stressed countries.

Earlier, UAF former vice chancellor Dr Riaz Hussain Qureshi said called for mapping out to a policy to have a ban on the conversion of fertile agricultural land into the other usage.

Director Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences Dr Javed Akhter also spoke on the occasion.