Pakistan and China have further enhanced their cooperation in Biohealth Agriculture to promote wheat production, China Economic Net (CEN) reported on Monday.
Zhang Lixin from Northwest A&F University, China in an interview with CEN hoped that per unit yield of wheat in Pakistan will be increased from the current 200-300 kilograms to more than 400 kilograms through technologies, such as, biohealth agriculture. Besides germplasm, bilateral researchers in Pak-China Biohealth Agriculture Demonstration Park have applied three core technologies to the wheat experimental field in Pakistan, and remarkable results have been achieved.
Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, Honorary Chairman of Pak-China biohealth cooperation project and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lahore, to improve local soil with bio-nanotechnology, which can greatly increase local wheat production. About 80 percent of farmers in Pakistan are engaged in wheat production, and the total area of wheat cultivation occupies as much as 40 percent of the total agricultural land in Pakistan.
Prof. Habib-ur-Rehman Athar from Bahauddin Zakariya University has worked with our researchers to hybridize the Chinese wheat variety S-24 with high yield and salt tolerance, which has been verified by research institutes such as the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), with the Pakistani variety Fd-08, and the new varieties have been successfully cultivated. However, this year, Pakistan is expected to harvest about 28 million tonnes of wheat, while overall demand is about 30 million tonnes, which means a 2 million tonnes gap to be filled by imports, in other words, Pakistan is yet self-sufficient in this vital crop. Taking wheat as an example, biological immunity can protect the grain, the economic organ of the plant, from pests and diseases to the greatest extent.” At present, Pakistani wheat growers are suffering from a lack of high-quality germplasm resources, and the high price of chemical fertilizers makes their predicament worse. Not only wheat, various Pakistani high-quality crops will be gradually introduced, and young scientists from Pakistan will also come to China regularly for exchange and training. As for wheat, statistics from Pakistan Bureau of Statistics show that wheat accounts for about 9 percent of the national agricultural added value.
Prof. Zhang added, if bilateral wheat with local advantages can communicate at the trade level while responding to the food crisis, especially in the context of climate change, it will be a win-win situation,”