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Very good topic indeed. SSM is very important everywhere and every time. The role of both women and men are important. In some parts of the world women are not allowed to work in the field. So in these areas awareness and training of girls in school is very important. I will suggest that SSM practices lessons needs to be included in science books at school level. In some back ward and neglected areas awareness of both women and men are important. The importance of SSM even not clear to policy makers, extension officers and field assistants etc. The training of field assistant and extension officers are very important because they have close links with male formers. In Islamic point of view, the importance of soil is reported in many places in the Holy Book of Quran. I think ulema/imam/and religious people also play a significant role in the training of all communities through loud speakers and mass media etc., thanks.
In my opinion, in developing countries the smallholders are not aware about the modern production technology of field crops cultivation. The farmers use toxic chemicals, degrade soils, and they don’t know the soil and water conservation practices. Moreover, the smallholders are cheated by the middlemen because they don’t have direct access to big markets to sell their produce. About 50-80% of the smallholder’s income goes to the middlemen. I recently completed a two years project (2017 and 2017) entitled: Transfer of Modern Production Technology of Field Crops Cultivation to Farmers through Field Days and Trainings in remote areas of two districts (Malakand and Swat). I trained farmers there in different union councils. I will also suggest the attention of governments to make good policies regarding smallholders in neglected/remote areas.
Livestock play important role in sustainable farming system. However, the genetics of our livestock are low yielding and therefore the farmers are not in much advantage by keeping livestock’s. Government should work and introduce high yielding livestock’s in the country for the betterment of farming community. On the other hand, the dominant cereal based cropping system in the country i.e. rice-wheat or maize-wheat reduce the fertility of the soils. Moreover, cereal based system results in low proteins per unit area and so the farmers are having malnutrition and poor health problem (e.g. Zn deficiency). The government must encourage the introduction of pulses in the cropping system which could increase soil fertility and protein per unit area. Here the farmers apply so many sprays on orchids (e.g. peach orchids) which is the major cause of hepatitis, skin problem, and cancer etc. The livestock health is also under severe stress due to lack of balanced and less feed availability.
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Climate Smart Agriculture Practice (CSAP) and Best Agronomic Practices (BAP) including integrated crop management, integrated nutrients management, integrated water management, integrated weed and pest management practices improve soil health, soil fertility, soil sustainability, crop productivity, crop quality, growers income; and reduce water and soil pollution thus improve health of small and poor growers. The FAO and other international organizations must sponsor the projects of faculty and researchers in poor countries to achieve the sustainable development goals, thanks.
In developing and under develped countries the cost of chemical fertilizers is very high. But the growers / smallholders are very poor. The growers are not able to buy the chemical fertilizers. As the soil fertility in theses countries is also low because of low organic matter in soil. Therefore, yield is very low which is the main casuse of food security issue in these countries. The UN organizations need to think about the high prices of chemical fertilizers. Better if FAO or other organizations try their best to reduce the higher prices of chemical fertilizers. The govevernments must give the fertilizers to growers on subsidized rates. Otherwise, decline in soil fertility and food security problem will further increase, thanks.
On phosphatic fertilizers P2O5 is written on bags but the recommendations for growers is in the for of P not P2O5. The fertilizers industries just deceived the uneducated farmers in developing countries. I mean if the fertilizers industries write P on the bags instead of P2O5 the amount percent on bags will decrease and the growers will know the actual amount of P. Likewise the problem of K2O on bags deceived farmers for K required in the form of MOP and SOP.
MY CONCERN IS ALSO ABOUT AMMONIUM SULPHATE AND CAN HAVING LESS NITROGEN. BUT THE PRICE OF AMMONIUM SULHATE AND CAN IS HIGHER THAN UREA IS NOT JUSTICE WITH THE GROWERS. IN PAKISTAN THE GOVERNMENT FERTILIZERS INDUSTRY PRICE WAS 50% LESS THAN THE PRIVATE INDUSTRY FERTILIZERS. PRIVITAZATION OF FERTILIZERS INDUSTRY FURTHER INCREASED THE COST OF PRODUCTION AND NEGATIELY AFFECTED YIELD DUE TO HIGHER FERTILIZERS COST. ADULTEATION OF FERTIZERS IS ALSO A BIG PROBLEM. THE GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBILITY IS TO CHECK THE FERTILIZERS AND HELP THE GROWERS. SOME OF THE BIG PEOPLE MIX DIFFERENT LOW QUALITY FERTILIZERS AND MAKE THEIR OWN NPK FERTILIZERS OF LOW QUALITY. IN NORTHWEST PAKISTAN THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY GIVE K FERTILIZERS AT HIGHER PRICE TO THE GROWES OTHERWISE THEY WILL NOT BUY THE TOBACCO FROM GROWERS.
AMANULLAH AGRONOMIST PHD
Amanullah, M. Asif and L.K. Almas. 2012. Agronomic efficiency and profitability of P-fertilizers applied at different planting densities of maize in Northwest Pakistan. Journal of Plant Nutrition. 35: 331-341.
The use of appropriate source of phosphorus (P) fertilizer at different planting densities has
considerable impact on growth, grain yield as well as profitability of maize (Zea mays L). Field
experiment was conducted in order to investigate the impact of P sources [(S0 = P not applied, S1 =SSP (single super phosphate) S2 = NP (nitrophos), and S3 = DAP (diammonium phosphate)] on
maize growth analysis, yield and economic returns planted at different planting densities (D1 =
40,000, D2 = 60,000, D3 = 80,000, and D4 = 100,000 plants ha−1) at the New Developmental
Agricultural Research Farm of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Agricultural University, Peshawar, Pakistan,
during summer 2006. This paper reports the profitability data with two objectives: 1) to compare
agronomic efficiency and profitability of P-fertilizers, and 2) to know whether plant densities affect
agronomic efficiency and profitability of P-fertilizers. Application of DAP and SSP resulted in higher
partial factor productivity (PFP) (63.58 and 61.92 kg grains kg−1 P), agronomic efficiency (AE)
(13.01 and 13.71 kg grains kg−1 P) and net returns (NR) (Rs. 16,289 and 16,204 ha−1), respectively,
while NP stood at the bottom in the ranking with lower PFP (57.16 kg grains kg−1 P),
AE (8.94 kg grains kg−1 P) and NR (Rs. 4,472 ha−1). Among the plant densities, D3 stood first
with maximum PFP (69.60 kg grains kg−1 P), AE (18.21 kg grains kg−1 P) and NR (Rs. 21,461
ha−1) as compared to other plant densities. In conclusion, the findings suggest that growing maize
at D3 applied with either SSP or DAP is more profitable in the wheat-maize cropping system in the
Nitrogen Rates and Sources Affect Yield and Profitability of Maize in Pakistan
Nitrogen is one of the most important factors affecting maize yield and profitability. To investigate the impact of N fertilizer sources (urea, calcium ammonium nitrate [CAN] and ammonium sulfate [AS]) applied in various amounts (0, 50, 100, 150, and 200 kg N ha-1) on grain yield and profitability of maize genotypes, local cultivars (Azam and Jalal) versus hybrid (Pioneer-3025) field experiments
were done during summer 2008–09 (Year 1) and 2009–10 (Year 2). The N yielded 41 and 26% more grain than the check in Year 1 and Year 2, respectively. In both years, grain yield increased in response to the increase in N application. Application of CAN and AS resulted in more grain yield than urea in Year 1, while no differences in yield were observed in Year 2. The hybrid (P-3025) yielded 30 and 24% more grain than the average of local cultivars in Years 1 and 2, respectively. In Year 1, the net returns (NR) of PKR16262 ha-1 (one US$ = 95 Pakistani Rupees) was obtained with CAN but value cost ratio (VCR) of 3.7 was noticed with urea; in Year 2, both NR (PKR14271 ha-1) and VCR (3.1) was greatest with urea. In both years, the greatest NR was obtained with 100 and 150 kg N ha-1. Application of urea at 150 and 200 kg N ha-1, CAN at 100 and 150 kg N ha-1, and AS at 50 and 100 kg N ha-1 was economical in terms of NR in both years.
Influence of Organic and Inorganic Nitrogen on Grain Yield and Yield Components of Hybrid Rice in Northwestern Pakistan
Field experiments were conducted to assess the impact of various organic sources, inorganic
nitrogen (N) and the different combinations of inorganic N (urea) + organic source on the yield
components (YC) and grain yield (GY) of hybrid rice (Oryza sativa L., Pukhraj) under rice-wheat system. The experiments were conducted at Batkhela (Malakand), Northwestern Pakistan, in 2011 and 2012. Our results revealed that YC and GY ranked first for the hybrid rice when applied with sole inorganic N (urea), followed by the application of N in mixture (urea + organic sources), while the control plots (no N applied) ranked in the bottom. Among the six organic sources (three animal manures: poultry, sheep and cattle; three crop residues: onion, berseem and wheat), application of N in the form of poultry manure was superior in terms of higher YC and GY. When applying 120 kg/hm2 N source, 75% N from urea + 25% N from organic source resulted in higher YC and GY in 2011, while applying 50% N from urea + 50% N from organic sources caused higher YC and GY in 2012. Therefore, the combined application of N sources in the form of urea + organic source can produce good performances in terms of higher YC and GY of rice under rice-wheat cropping system.
In drylands under arid and semiarid climates, globally there is problems of (1) food security and (2) malnutrition. The soils in these climates are under severe threats. These soils are low in organic matter, low soil fertility, and low water holding capacity etc. Sustainable soil management practices, which decrease soil degradation and increase soil fertility, increase nutrients, use efficiency, increase water use efficiency could reduce the problems of food security and malnutrition. Any good practice, which increase the following, are important in these areas:
- Increase in soil organic matter
- increase in soil organic carbon
- increase in soil biodiversity
- increase in beneficial soil microorganism
- increase in water use efficiency
- increase nutrients use efficiency
- increase in below and above plant biomass
- increase leaf area index and crop growth rate
- increase in crop yield & its quality
- increase in growers income and decrease in costs of production etc.
Associate Professor of Agronomy
The University of Agriculture Peshawar