Achina Could Help Boost Vegetable Production in Pakistan

China-Pak collaboration could significantly boost the production of vegetables in Pakistan. If China Economic Net (CEN), researchers come to Pakistan on a field trip, they could teach our students which seed to choose and how to cultivate based on different soils and climate, and tell the locals how to irrigate and use pesticides.

Moreover, The Chinese researchers could also help Pakistani farmers to find the locust breeding grounds by using advanced technologies. A hot topic that has left policymakers and farmers scrambling for a solution, as Pakistan suffers from the worst locust plague in the past 27 years.

Rahat Sharif, a Pakistani student at China\’s Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University (NWAFU) claimed that his lab at NWAFU researched developing cucumber resistance against powdery mildew. The applied research has not only improved the production of cucumber but also the livelihood of local farmers. The same could be applied to Pakistani farms and the agriculture arena. 

His lab has developed several cucumber varieties and they were provided to local farmers in Shaanxi Province, which had successfully lifted some farmers out of poverty. Sharif believes that his research has the potential to help Pakistani farmers increase the production of cucumber and get rid of poverty.

Furthermore, a more mechanized and technological approach to farming would greatly benefit Pakistan’s agricultural sector. Mechanization is a crucial input for agricultural crop production and one that historically has been neglected in the context of developing countries. Factors that reduce the availability of farm power compromise the ability to cultivate sufficient land and have long been recognized as a source of poverty, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Increasing the power supply to agriculture means that more tasks can be completed at the right time and greater areas can be farmed to produce greater quantities of crops while conserving natural resources. Applying new environmentally friendly technologies enables farmers to produce crops more efficiently by using less power.

Sustainable agricultural mechanization can also contribute significantly to the development of value chains and food systems as it has the potential to render postharvest, processing, and marketing activities and functions more efficient, effective, and environmentally friendly.

Increasing levels of mechanization do not necessarily mean big investments in tractors and other machinery. Farmers need to choose the most appropriate power source for any operation depending on the work to be done and on who is performing it. The level of mechanization should meet their needs effectively and efficiently. Women play an important role in many farming-based communities, and in some countries, up to 80 percent of the total farm labor comes from women. This implies that power sources (human, animal, or motor-based) need to be adapted to such necessities from an ergonomic, social, cultural, and economic point of view. The reduction of drudgery is a key element of sustainable mechanization and contributes to reducing women\’s hard workload by taking into consideration technologies apt to their needs and improving their access to appropriate forms of farm power.

Gaining insight from Chinese firms could help change the way farming is viewed and approached in our country.

Mishaal Mariam Moin

Mishaal Mariam Moeen, an author and mixed media artist, expresses her creativity through written words and visual art forms.

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