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‘Small farmers must use smart machinery’

FAISALABAD: Infected seeds and a lack of mechanisation, especially by small farmers, are hampering efforts to realise the true potential of agriculture sector, said University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) Vice Chancellor Dr Muhammad Ashraf.

Speaking at an event titled Zaraee Baithak, arranged by the Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Ashraf termed the use of smart agriculture machinery vital at the national level for small farmers.

“The university has taken up the issue of development of climate-resilient seeds for food security and enhancing per-acre production,” he said. “Amid the ever-increasing population, decreasing fertility and agricultural land, we need to adopt modern trends in agriculture to tackle the situation effectively.”

Speaking on the occasion, UAF Faculty of Animal Husbandry Dean Dr Sajjad Ahmad Khan said better feeding techniques should be adopted for improved animal milk production. He said UAF was making all-out efforts to address problems of the farming community and to turn around the agriculture sector.

UAF’s former dean agriculture Iftikhar Ahmad said, “we must keep the nutrition value of fodder in view”. He pointed out that amid the increasing population, agricultural land was depleting and was being used for residential and other purposes. “Retaining the agricultural land in present times is a challenge,” he remarked.

Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics Chairman Dr Tanwir Malik said with better fodder usage, animal milk production could be enhanced. He was of the view that with high temperature, the production of fodder decreased and the issue needed to be addressed.

Progressive farmer Basharat Jaspal said the adoption of modern agricultural methods in line with international standards, using climate-resilient seed varieties and timely sowing of crops were the prerequisites to raising agricultural yield and ensuring food security.

Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics Assistant Professor Dr Amir said UAF was coming up with new climate-resilient varieties of fodder, adding that Baithak was aimed at providing an opportunity to all stakeholders to addresses the challenges facing the agriculture sector.