LAHORE - Agriculture Department spokesman has said that the government is going to boost gram cultivation in Thar areas through drip irrigation system.

Gram, he said in a statement, was a major Rabi pulse crop in Pakistan and it is grown in areas after rain and floods. It is a short duration crop and can be grown between September and November. The best time for sowing is the second week of October, he added.

Chickpea (Gram) grows best with drip irrigation system. That’s why government was promoting drip irrigation in Thar districts Khusaab, Bhakkar, Layyah, Muzaffargarh, jhang and Mianwali areas where it had announced 75 percent subsidy on installation of drip irrigation system. Spokesman said that through drip irrigation, not only water saving will be enhanced but also production of per acre gram will be enhanced in these areas. Farmers may contact with Deputy District (Water management) of their region or may contact on 042-99204897 during office hour timing.

Being a leguminous crop it is well suited under dry tracks. It requires winter climate weather condition and is allergic to frost. In normal condition the gram matures within four months or a little later. After reaching maturity stage the gram plant cannot stand heavy rains or hail storm.

The crop demand rainy condition but it can be grown in less irrigated areas also. The crop is heat resistant and flourishes under good moisture condition. It can bear drought condition due to long taproot which allows using water from great depths than other pulse.

It tolerates acidity but is sensitive to salinity and alkalinity. It has the ability to stick to 60-80 percent of its nitrogen requirement and excessive nitrogen fertilizer may delay maturity. In normal condition the gram matures within four months or a little later.