Pakistan, US effort to improve soil fertility in Balochistan

Parvez Jabri December 11, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The United States’ fifty-year commitment to collaborating with Pakistan to strengthen its agricultural sector and rural communities continues benefitting the farming community of Pakistan.

The Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Pakistan Agriculture Research Council, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), released a soil fertility atlas for Balochistan Province to transfer expertise and technology to improve economic opportunities for farmers and their families.

The Soil Fertility Atlas for Balochistan, as part of an ongoing effort for soil fertility management and promoting sustainable agricultural intensification, provides a comprehensive account of soil types and their current fertility status, native best management practices, and fertilizer use trends to help Pakistan’s farmers and fertilizer producers understand best soil management practices for increased crop productivity.

In her welcome address, FAO Representative in Pakistan Ms. Mina’ Dowlatchahi said: “The Atlas is an important addition to the series of Soil Fertility Atlases which will be instrumental in addressing the lack of data in managing soil fertility in Pakistan. Soil maps based on agro-ecological zones have been made part of the Balochistan atlas. There is a need for raising awareness and increasing knowledge of farmers in addition to engaging with public and private sector to ensure sustainable agriculture development in Pakistan.”

Speaking at the launch event, USAID Deputy Mission Director Clay Epperson stated, “Going forward, the success of Pakistan’s agricultural sector will depend on the health and quality of Pakistan’s soils.  Just as the soil gives to us, we must give to the soil.”

Speaking at the event, USDA’s Agricultural Counselor Casey Bean from the U.S. Embassy Pakistan congratulated the partners working on this project, highlighting that “the project will promote the 4Rs of nutrient management, the right nutrient in the right amount at the right time with the right placement.”

This event marked the conclusion of the Soil Fertility Management for Sustainable Intensification project with soil atlases published in Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan provinces and a publication date of December 21 for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. High-level agriculture sector participants from the Governments of Pakistan, non-profit organizations, universities, and the private sector attended the event.

Copyright PPI (Pakistan Press International), 2018

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