Pakistan increases soybean cultivation to cut $5,000 mln imports

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enewspaper.com.pk/Pakistan increases soybean cultivation to cut

BEIJING, (APP): ” With soybean cultivation, Pakistan can save $5,000 million from the imports bill of oilseeds and raw materials for poultry feed,” Prof Dr. Iqrar Ahmad Khan, Vice-Chancellor of University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF), stated while presiding over a meeting themed by “Soybean Cultivation and Promotion with Strip Intercropping Technology in Pakistan.”

Prof Dr. Athar Mahboob, Vice-Chancellor of the Islamia University of Bahawalpur (IUB) as the guest of honor attended the meeting. Dr. Zaheer Ahmed, In-charge of UAF soybean cell, and Muhammad Ali Raza, post-doc of the Sichuan Agricultural University (SAU) gave a briefing about soybean cultivation with strip intercropping technology, and the research collaboration between UAF-IUB-SAU, China Economic Net (CEN) reported on Wednesday.

The promotion of maize-soybean strip intercropping technology from SAU is entering the fourth year since it was introduced to Pakistan in 2018. Positive feedback has been received with its development locally because of the increased benefits for Pakistan farmers as well as the role it’s playing in improving the whole countries’ food security.

Notably, in August 2021, Pakistan’s first Intercropping Research Center was jointly established by SAU and IUB, dedicated to adjusting more advanced Chinese intercropping technologies to suit Pakistan.

Besides maize-soybean strip intercropping technology, in November 2021, the country’s first wheat-chickpea strip intercropping demonstration also started under
the center.

The deans and directors at the meeting approved of the idea of soybean cultivation with strip intercropping technology and praised the efforts of SAU Prof Yang Wenyu, Prof Athar Mahboob, and Dr. Iqrar Ahmad Khan for promoting soybean production in Pakistan.

Prof Dr. Iqrar Ahmad highlighted the urgency of revitalizing soybean cultivation in Pakistan. Next season, he will give his full support and lead the work of demonstrating maize-soybean strip intercropping technology in southern Punjab.

“Intercropping is the only possible solution to soybean cultivation in Pakistan. In the coming season we are going to arrange large-scale demonstrations by progressive farmers to showcase this technology to the local farming community,” he said.

Meanwhile, intercropping-specific crop varieties and farm machinery are needed to better boost soybean production.

“Next season, the total area of maize-soybean strip intercropping technology demonstrations in Pakistan is expected to surpass 300 acres, Dr. Muhammad Ali
Raza told CEN.

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