Islamabad (17th March 2018)…….. Handling of the combine harvested paddy residue has been becoming a great concern to the farmers in rice-wheat cropping system. The residue is either removed or spread in the field manually. In general, farmers prefer to burn it as an easy and cost-effective method of disposal. However, burning of residue not only results in loss of precious crop nutrients but also poses a great threat to the environment, human health and economy. The smog restricts road and air traffic and causes respiratory problems for human/ animal health. Agricultural Engineering Institute organized a Farmer’s Field Day to show wheat crop performance sown with PAK Seeder in heavy rice residue at Ch. Shahbaz, Khokhar farm near Siakhum, on Muridkay-Sheihkhupura Road.
Dr Yusuf Zafar T.I., Chairman Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), Islamabad was the Chief Guest at the occasion. Dr Nadeem Amjad Member Coordination/DG Agricultural Engineering Division (AED), Dr Anjum Ali Buttar Member Crop Sciences division, Dr Abdul Majeed, country representative of ICARDA country head and other dignitaries from Government of Punjab participated in the event.
On arrival of Chairman and other guests a pictorial presentation was given by Engr. Shabbir Ahmed Kalwar Project Incharge of ICARDA-USDA funded project about PARC efforts and different approaches since last 12 years to reach PAK Seeder. It is a unique technology which sows wheat in rice residue without disturbing the soil as well rice residue from field. He also mentioned that rice-wheat growers can conserve their resources, time and money by adopting this technology. He also said that this technology not only improves soil biological and physical health as well as increases wheat and rice crop yields.
Dr. Yusuf Zafar T.I., Chairman PARC appreciated the long time efforts of engineers/scientists for developing a PAK Seeder for wheat sowing in heavy rice residue First Time in Pakistan; He commented it would help to increase earnings of the farmers of rice-wheat growing areas of Pakistan. He said that burning of rice residue is a big problem for Pakistan as well South Asian countries and Pak Seeder is breakthrough for rice-wheat growers of Pakistan, which will not only save the time and resources but also enhance our crop production. He also highlighted the role of scientists, manufactures, service providers and farmers for successful execution of a technology. He further stated that PARC Engineers are playing a vital role in development of resource conservation technologies like PAK Seeder in Pakistan.
Engr. Shabbir Kalwar explained the technology in detail. Dr Anjum Ali Butter explained the problems faced by farmers of rice-wheat system due to burning of rice straw and created problem of SMOG during the months of Nov. and Decembers. Mr Mushtaq Gill CEO of SACON talked about role of Agricultural Service providers and Dr Abdul Majid highlighted the role of ICARDA and presented project activities at Pakistan level and said that research is not a single day process it takes years to solve out a problem. He emphasized on importance of farmers’ role and their cooperation with machinery manufactures and researchers in further development of PAK Seeder.
Chairman PARC along with other dignitaries and guests witnessed the wheat crop sown with PAK Seeder in heavy rice residue and farmers practices and there was a big difference in crop performance sown with PAK Seeder and traditional method (farmer practice).
Director (PR&P) PARC
Edited by: Muhammad Fiaz Joyia
Director (SC&P), NARC