ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) acknowledged the role of US Government and USAID for the improvement of agriculture in Pakistan. Joint efforts are needed to promote conservation agriculture seeders in cotton-wheat and other cropping system of Pakistan, so that issue of late planting and residue burning could be solved. Service providers and private sector should also be involved in the promotion of these activities.

This was stated by Dr Shahid Masood, Member (Plant Sciences) PARC and Focal Person of AIP in Pakistan while addressing at inaugural session of two day training on “Conservation of Agriculture Planter (Multi-Crop Bed Planter) here at National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) Park Road, Islamabad.

The training was jointly organised by International Centre on Maize and Wheat Research (CIMMYT) and Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) under Agricultural Innovation Programme (AIP) for Pakistan which is USAID funded Project. CIMMYT is promoting conservation agriculture through introduction of better crop planters in Pakistan under AIP. On this occasion, Dr Muhammad Azeem Khan, Director General, National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) appreciated the role of CIMMYT for the promotion of conservation agriculture in Pakistan. He also highlighted the effort of PARC like fabrication of ZT drill and wheat straw chopper in the past that have also contributed towards the promotion of conservation agriculture.

He said that use of bed planters is the need of the day and these must be used for crops like maize, canola, soybean and mung bean at NARC and farmer fields.  Dr Imtiaz Hussain, Cropping System Agronomist of CIMMYT informed the participants that multi-crop bed planters have been provided to national partners such as; agriculture research, agriculture extension and a seed companies for pilot testing and demonstration. This multi crop planter can be used for planting of different crops such as; cotton, maize, pulses, soybean and wheat on raised beds. In this two days training, 24 trainees including agronomist, agriculture engineer, farm mangers and operators from provinces would be trained for the use of bed planters.

Shabir Ahemd Kalwar of Agriculture and Biological Engineering Institute -NARC highlighted importance of planters for better crop production. He told the trainees that Bed formation, planting of crop and fertilizer application can be done in one operation with this multi crop bed planter. He assured that this two days hand on training would help the trainees to use these planters more effectively. On this occasion KD Joshi - CIMMYT Wheat Improvement Specialist also highlighted various aspects of the technology. He appreciated the efforts of PARC for the implementation of AIP activities in Pakistan.