Misuse of fertilisers reduces yield
ISLAMABAD: The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is working on a baseline atlas of current soil fertility practices, disaggregated by farm size and cropping systems in Pakistan.
The atlas will guide the management changes for sustainable intensification, said FAO’s representative in Pakistan, Patrick Evans during a symposium on ‘public-private partnership to manage soil fertility in Pakistan’ on Tuesday.
“The results of the exercise will consequently lead to application of balanced inputs and ‘4R’: Right fertiliser at the Right rate at the Right time in the Right place. There is a need to promote partnership with the private sector, including national fertiliser companies, retailers and wholesalers as well as farmer associations,” Mr Evan elaborated.
A significant yield gap exists in Pakistan, he said, suggesting that this presents an opportunity for increased production to ensure food security in the country.
Addressing participants of the symposium, Minister for National Food Security and Research, Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan admitted that the inappropriate use of fertilisers has upset the natural balance of nutrients including nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium in the soils.
It has contributed to decline and degradation of crop production and soil fertility, he added.
Mr Bosan said that the government was working closely with agricultural scientists, international partners and farmers to propagate agriculture-research and bring innovations at the doorstep of farmers. This will not only improve the livelihood of vulnerable poor but will be a step towards securing food security in the country.
Chairman of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Dr Iftikhar Ahmad while speaking at the symposium said that the challenge is to produce more and healthier food in a sustainable manner.
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