ISLAMABAD: The future of agriculture depends on mechanisation of the agriculture sector, underlined Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam.
At a ceremony to demonstrate the newly designed multi-crop precision planter, he added that sustainable agriculture would only be possible through a complete package of agricultural machinery.
The minister stressed upon the importance of regenerative agriculture.
“The crop is suggested to grow on permanent raised beds under mulch conditions, which not only saves 50% water but also conserves other inputs,” he noted.
Highlighting the benefits of mulching for crops, he said that “it conserves water and increases the availability, reduces heat stress and builds up soil health in the long term”.
Farmers were already using conservation technologies, such as zero-tillage machinery, which allowed direct planting without ploughing or preparing the soil, he mentioned.
“The sustainable farming system reduces the cost of machinery, saves irrigation water and tilling time, gradually increases soil organic matter by incorporating crop residues in the soil and mulching of soil suppresses weeds,” Imam underlined.
Regarding precision planting, the minister termed the technique crucial as “it gives the desired number of plants per acre”.
Giving examples, he mentioned that around 35,000 plants per acre were needed for maize and about 20,000 for cotton.
“Precision planters will bring revolution in the agriculture sector of the country, by saving seeds and increasing per acre yield,” he remarked.
On the occasion, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Syed Shibli Faraz underlined that modernisation of agricultural machinery was on the mandate of science and technology.
“Without technology, we cannot improve our agriculture,” he said, adding that the government would extend every support to improve mechanisation in the country.