LAHORE – Pakistan’s rice sector is lagging behind in productivity and facing high cost of production as compared to other rice-producing countries, said Shahid Tarer, Director Galaxy Rice (Pvt) Ltd.
He was speaking at a seminar on ‘Water Productivity (WAPRO) Project’ organised by his firm in collaboration with SDC, Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation, Westmill Foods (A division of Associated British Foods & Grain Products Ltd. UK, MARS food & RPL).
WAPRO project is aimed at improving water efficiency and sustainable rice production in Pakistan. A large number of farmers attended the event.
Shahid Tarer stressed the need for promotion of global best practices for improving resource use efficiency. He also spoke about the vision of SDC’s long-term commitment to global food security and mitigating water scarcity & climate change scenario of Pakistan.
Imran Sheikh, Project Manager, highlighted the objectives and strategy of the WAPRO project and Galaxy’s Farmer Connect (GFC) program regarding regular advisory service to the farmers and promotion of rice cultivation as per Sustainable Rice Platform’s standard.
Rao Muhammad Tariq, Senior Manager Fouji Fertilizer Company, shared his views about fertilizer application. He emphasized on balanced fertilizer application and its role in productivity and profitability.
Dr Arjumand Nizami, Country Director Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation, capacitated the farmers regarding water efficiency as a business case. She quoted the pilot study of 21 rice farmers of head, mid and the tale of irrigation minor in district Sheikhupura.
Dr Muhammad Sabir, Director Rice Research Institute KSK, briefed the audience about research updates and development projects.
Dr Tahir Hussain Awan shared his experience about direct seeding rice and shared the set of the new technology of weed management in DSR.
Dr Anjum Ali Buttar, Director General Agriculture (Extension), threw light on the ongoing extension projects and also discussed the agriculture policy 2018.
Dr Muhammad Afzal, Country Director Crop Life, told the farmers about the role of responsible use of pesticides in rice ecosystem for ensuring resource use efficiency, food security and export of residual free quality rice.
Dr Abdul Ghafoor, Member Plant Sciences PARC, stressed the need of increasing water use efficiency and promoting the model such as WAPRO project to save water and ensure food security not only for current but also for future generations.