Forest Centre set up for greener, richer Gwadar

ISLAMABAD – Belt and Road Tropical Arid Non-wood Forest Centre has been established for a greener and richer Gwadar, according to a report published by Gwadar Pro on Wednesday.

“In the eyes of outsiders, high temperature and scorching sun may be a disadvantage of Gwadar, but in our view, the light and heat conditions here are a natural advantage for the development of agriculture and non-wood forest,” said Zhang Saiyang, Vice Director of the Belt and Road Engineering Research Centre for Tropical Arid Non-wood Forest and doctoral candidate of Central South University of forestry and technology.

The project was jointly initiated and established by Central South University of forestry and technology, China Overseas Ports Holdings Co, Ltd and Yulin Holdings Co, Ltd for Gwadar ecological construction and industrial development.

Since 2018, it has systematically improved the local soil conditions in Gwadar. Zhang told Gwadar Pro that the Chinese team combined the organic fertilizer collected from local sheep farm and leaves and other humus to mix with local soil in a certain proportion to improve the fertility and pH of the local soil.

Besides, the local soil conditions were greatly improved by the team members planting legumes to use the nitrogen fixation of legume rhizobia.

By now, nearly 100,000 seedlings such as bananas, dates, orchid and figs have been cultivated here. Among them, bananas (Musa nana) are selected local varieties that can adapt to drought and high temperature and produce a large amount of fruit.

In May, the centre successfully held the first non-wood forest products-banana harvest festival in Gwadar Port. “Our production of bananas has attracted the attention of local farmers, who hope to buy banana seedlings to grow on their own land,” Zhang mentioned.

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