Directorate of Agricultural Information, Punjab
LAHORE, December 18, 2012.Scientists of Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad have developed short duration crops resultantly area under cultivation has increased considerably. This was stated by Dr. Noor-ul-Islam, Director General Agriculture Research Punjab while addressing a seminar at Ayub Agricultural Research institute, Faisalabad. The international seminar on “Challenges and New Trends in Vegetable Production” was organized by Vegetable Research Institute, Faisalabad and was attended by scientists of AARI, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, NIAB Faisalabad and scientists from Canada, California and India.
Dr. Noor-ul-Islam in his address drew attention towards global warming and rapid increase in population and said that tackling these important issues is imperative for achieving food security and bringing sustainability in agriculture production. He stressed the need for developing new crop varieties which could withstand the bad consequences due to climatic changes. He asked the scientists to prepare a policy paper on vegetable production for guiding policy makers. Dr. Noor-ul-Islam emphasised the importance of value addition in all fruits and vegetables to achieve maximum economic returns and financial benefits.
He told that due to concerted efforts of farmers and agriculture scientists the production of maize and potatoes has increased tremendously in past years. Mr. Ahmad Bilal an agricultural scientist from Canada told about the methods of vegetable production through hydroponic techniques. He said that in Canada vegetables are being produced with hydroponics techniques. These techniques have resulted in increase water and nutrients use efficiency and high production of vegetable is obtained with low per unit area. He said that scientists could change the behavior of plant growth with intervention like increasing or decreasing nutrients.
The scientists told that world faces the problems of water scarcity and hydroponics technique could solve the problem by saving water. He said that in Canada a vegetable becomes ready for picking after 40 days. He told that less farm labour is required for growing vegetable with hydroponics technique. Dr. Shahid Niaz, Director Vegetable Research Institute, Faisalabad in his address informed that two to three time more income is generated by growing vegetables and off-season vegetables give three to four time higher production as compare to ordinary crops.
He said that vegetables are necessary for balanced diet and their medical uses could hardly be over emphasized. He stated that obtaining high quality seed, degradation of soil health, water scarcity, climatic changes and plant protection are the major obstacles in increasing vegetable production. Highlighting the performance of Vegetable Research Institute, Faisalabad, he said that the institute has developed 55 new vegetable varieties including one hybrid tomato variety.
The Director Vegetables informed that ginger, peas, garlic and onion are imported from foreign countries whereas potatoes, onions, chillies and turmeric are exported to foreign countries. About the seed production in vegetables Dr. Shahid informed that in last years 370,000 kits and 25000 kg vegetable seeds were produced by the institute.
Scientists also presented research papers on vegetable production through hydroponics techniques, organic vegetable production, development of hybrid in vegetable, use of bio-technology for improving vegetable varieties, tunnel farming and othe issues related to production technology and future trends.