ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), in collaboration with International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (better known by its Spanish acronym CIMMYT) and USAID, has organized a two-day meet up to discuss and review the activities around Conservation Agriculture (CA) in Pakistan.
National partners from all over the country will share progress on agronomy activities of USAID-funded Agricultural Innovation Program (AIP) for Pakistan, and discuss implementation related issues and future projects at the event. The event is titled 'AIP-Agronomy: National Meeting on Conservation Agriculture' and its inaugural session was attended by 75 agriculture professionals from various universities, private companies and provincial, federal and international research institutes. Imtiaz Muhammad, CIMMYT Country Representative and AIP Project Leader, informed participants that 23 national public and private sector partners are collaborating on crop management activities. CIMMYT is also collaborating with the private sector for local production of new planters. Speaking on the occasion, PARC's focal person for AIP Dr Ghulam Ali said "Farm crop productivity can be increased by adopting resource-conserving crop management technologies." Ali also appreciated the efforts of CIMMYT and its national partners in development and dissemination of crop management techniques to the farming communities of Pakistan. Imtiaz Hussain, Cropping System Agronomist, informed the audience that conservation agriculture techniques such as zero tillage and ridge planting are being disseminated in the country under AIP.
CIMMYT is also collaborating with manufactures for local production of zero-tillage Happy Seeder (to plant wheat after combined rice harvest); multi-crop planter for Dry Seeded Rice (DSR) and push row planter for maize planting in KPK. Hussain further said that, under the AIP agronomy project, CIMMYT has reached 12,000 farmers by organizing farmer field days and training them in no-till farming, ridge planting and nutrient management. "These techniques are helping farmers save water, avoid residue burning, reduce production costs and increase profits", he added.