New technology stressed
to boost agriculture
Monday, February 27, 2012: PAKISTAN is blessed with
plenty of natural resources that can be fully exploited
by developing new technologies and adopting them on a
large scale otherwise the country will lag behind in the
race of economic development.
This was said by Dr Mubarik Ali, chief executive, Punjab
Agricultural Research Board (PARB) while inaugurating
the Farmers’ Field Day in relation to PARB’s project
“Evaluation of phosphoric acid as an alternative to
commercial phosphate fertilisers and enhancing its
efficiency for higher crop productivity.”
He emphasised that the dream of economic development in
Pakistan could only come true through adoption of
innovative technologies. He apprised the audience that
PARB was presently funding 53 research projects in which
the scientists were working to find tangible solutions
to the problems being faced by agriculture sector of
He said that according to the objectives set under these
projects, it would be possible to achieve good yields of
crops even with low inputs and under stress conditions.
Dr Mubarik stressed upon the scientists particularly the
young researchers to utilise their laboratories with
devotion to develop new technologies for the development
of agriculture sector so that the farmers could adopt
them for making the country prosperous.
He appreciated the participation of private sector in
the production of phosphoric acid on commercial scale.
“This will help to expand the technology envisaged at
later stages of the ongoing PARB funded project at NIAB”
he added. Dr Mubarik Ali also visited the experimental
field and appreciated the work progress based on better
performance of phosphoric acid as phosphorus source.
On the occasion, Dr M Akhtar, project manager and Dr
Javed Akhtar, NIAB director, told the participants about
the present price hike in phosphorus fertilizers that
had resulted in their low applications and thus drastic
reduction in crop yields. This is need of the hour to
find phosphorus fertilisers which are cheaper and
efficient than the commercial fertilizers.
The speakers said NIAB scientists were presently working
on finding new cheaper phosphorus fertilizers and
appropriate methods of their application. They said it
had been observed that phosphoric acid was a better
alternative to the commercial phosphorus fertilisers.
In view of the encouraging results of the previous
experiments conducted at NIAB, PARB has funded a project
to evaluate phosphoric acid thoroughly for the
production of wheat, rice and maize, they said.
They said that for improving efficiency of phosphoric
acid by placement (two inches below seed), special seed
sowing drills-cum-liquid fertiliser applicators for
wheat and maize had been developed by the Agricultural
Mechanization Research Institute (AMRI), Faisalabad and
were being tested in the field.
Farmers from districts of Faisalabad and Toba Tek Singh
and delegates from private sector and NIAB scientists
participated in the activity. The farmers, whose lands
for wheat experiments were underway using phosphoric
acid, gave their comments on better performance of the
acid in comparison to other commercial phosphate
There is a long list of factors for this low
productivity, but the focus here is on the research
wing. The country will have to change its research
patterns. It has to catch up with the new horizons and
methodologies of research going worldwide. I would like
to correlate the rice research in Pakistan with C4 rice
research that is an emerging integrated type of research
funded by Bill & Mellinda Gates foundation,
simultaneously going in different parts of world and
headed by one centre.
Pakistan, having the best Basmati rice should be a part
of this global research, sharing the latest views and
writings, huge funding from the project, active
utilisation of scientific potential, technical staff
opportunities etc. If the world will succeeds in
creating a C4 rice strain, Pakistan will be benefit
The writer is PhD research scholar at International Rice
Research Institute, Los
Courtesy: The DAWN