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Pakistani farmers tour United States to learn best Practises

Pakistani farmers tour United States to learn best Practises

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A contingent of Pakistani Punjabi farmers traveled to California under the U.S Davis Co-operative Extension program on Thursday to get a grasp on some of their modern farming techniques. It is a 15-day program that involves a tour of various facilities available in the entire state beginning from Cordua Irrigation District in Yuba County. The main purpose of this visit is to learn about different methods and techniques adopted by the California farming industry and incorporate them back in the local agriculture industry to resolve underlying issues.

Agriculture constitutes the largest sector of the economy of Pakistan. It is the source of income for than 43% of nation’s labor force and accounts for about 21 % of GDP. Lack of resources and modern agricultural equipment has left Pakistan lagging behind the developed nations. In the latter part of 2015, a 17 million dollar worth collaborative project was launched between US Davis and Pakistan’s top agricultural institutes. It allows the faculty and graduates of both countries to research and utilize different facilities available at the respective countries. While addressing to the USAID’s funded Agriculture Innovation Program’s (AIP) inaugural event, Chairman of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), Dr Nadeem Amjad was concerned about the challenges faced by Pakistani farmers and how these problems have been affecting their productivity. He believed that better utilization of resources and planning could help us improve our methods and bring change.

The Pakistani group of farmers started their tour from Cordua Irrigation District and visited other associate irrigation districts as well. They mainly wanted to see how these systems employ modern irrigation equipment and learn about their practices. The visitors had nothing but praise for the local farmers and how well they have deployed the available resources. In an interview to a private magazine, a professor from University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Ahmed Sadaqat said:

I’ve got to see a good picture of how farmers get seeds, how they grow crops, how farmers provide shelter conditions for their crops once they are harvested, and how quality seeds can impact the process, We will try and match that with practices in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s economy relies on its agriculture and farming big time. But somehow, we still lack innovation and fail to modernize our agricultural system. Farmers are not well informed about the new practices adopted in other countries. They also have to cope up with our natural conditions which are not always on their side. Universities and other institutes have been vocal about their concerns regarding this situation. Some of them are trying to bring reforms into the system. Most of the Pakistan’s agricultural universities are supported by US funds and have collaborated with some very recognized institutes on projects related to farming. Farmers from Pakistan have received many great opportunities to learn some modern techniques and practice them in their local land. The collaboration projects that link Pakistan and US institutes have produced some great results over the years. It has helped local workers from Pakistan to research and absorb international methods and agricultural system. If they continue to work this way, hand in hand, it could be beneficial for both countries.