Agriculture + Forestry = Agroforestry is the solution to the socio-economic development quandary of Pakistan (PJAF).
Achievements of Vegetable Research Institute, Faisalabad
Following are the achievements of the institute:
Evolution Of New Varieties And Hybrids
Up till now, Vegetable Research Institute, Faisalabad has evolved 60 field varieties of different vegetables and 5 tomato hybrids.
Turmeric Cltivation In Pakistan
At time of independence, turmeric was not cultivated in western Pakistan. Hence, local demand was met either from eastern Pakistan or through import. After intensive research, it was found that turmeric can successfully be cultivated in Pakistan by mulching the fields with sugarcane trash. The introduction and adoption of this technique by farmers resulted in local production of turmeric and now we are not only meeting our demand locally but also exporting to other countries of the world in powder form.
Off-Season Onion Production Technology
In Punjab, conventional crop of onion is sown in spring and production is available in market from May to August. Whereas, September to March is deficiency period. During this period, onion prices are higher than normal. Keeping in view the high prices of onion in the aforesaid period, new crop has been introduced in the Punjab. The nursery for this crop is sown during July /August and transplanted in September. This crop provides green onion from mid-November to March, which not only provides onion in the scarcity period but also maintains the price at reasonable level. Dry onion can also be harvested in April. This crop receives longer period for growth, it flourishes well and also attains big bulb size resulting in better yield.
Off-Season Vegetables Production
In winter season, summer vegetables are grown under plastic tunnel. Usually, tunnel crop gives higher yield due to use of vertical space, proper nutrition and better growing conditions. These vegetables fetches higher prices in market due to off season and good production. In Punjab, Summer vegetables like Tomato, Sweet Pepper, Hot Pepper, Cucumber, Vegetable Marrow, Bitter Gourd, Red Gourd, Sponge Gourd and Bottle Gourd are successfully grown under plastic tunnels. Cucumber and Bottle gourd are direct seeded in plastic tunnel during 15-31 October. Vegetable Marrow, Bitter Gourd, Red Gourd, Ash Gourd and Sponge Gourd are sown under low tunnel during second fortnight of January.
Technology For The Control of Collar Rot In Chilies
It was found that if the chilies nursery plants are treated with fungicides before sowing and transplanted on ridges where the seedlings do not come in direct contract with irrigation water, then there is no spread of disease.
Popularization Of Kitchen Gardening
To encourage the people for kitchen gardening, a vegetables seed kit containing all the important vegetables sufficient to be sown for 5 to 8 Marlas of land, is prepared and supplied on cheaper rats along with their production technologies. Almost 270000 seed packets are sold in rural and urban areas annually.
Most of the country’s vegetables seed demand is met through imports. To save precious foreign reserves, local production of vegetables seed is mandatory. Vegetable Research Institute, Faisalabad has not only developed new varieties and hybrids of various vegetables but also developed and improved the vegetables seed production technology. And seed self-sufficiency has already been achieved in many vegetables. Almost 4 tonnes of vegetable seed of different varieties is being produced and provided to farmers at cheaper rates. Now many private seed companies are also involved in vegetables seed production. This institute is supporting these private seed companies through giving technical assistance and providing basic seed.
Hybrids Development In Tomato
Experiments on hybrids development in tomato has been completed successfully. Uptill now, 5 tomato hybrids have been approved for general cultivation. Among these, Four hybrids can be successfully cultivated under high and walk in tunnel whereas one hybrid is suitable for open file cultivation. Seed of these hybrids can be produced locally at very cheaper rates.
Tunnel Cultivation Of Tomato In Autumn
Many experiments has been conducted for early production of tomato and increase its supply period in Punjab. It has been found that September sown crop gives more production then October-November sown crop. And also, farmer can get higher prices in January to March due to limited supply of tomato in market. Moreover this crop gives production from January to early June. However, only highly resistant, indeterminate hybrid types are recommended for this crop. Moreover, In Punjab, for early cultivation of Tomato in September, protection from whitefly and other sucking insects is very important. Because these insects are responsible for spreading viral diseases in Tomato.
Cultivation Of Bitter Gourd In Autumn
Bitter Gourd is an important summer vegetable. To ensure availability of Bitter Gourd throughout the year, Vegetable Research Institute, Faisalabad has evolved and approved a variety “Safeena” for autumn cultivation. This variety has good resistant against diseases. It can be cultivated in June-July. For good production, use of nets is recommended. Its production starts in September and continues up to November which ensure year round availability of Bitter Gourd in market.
Effect Of Vegetables Research On County’s Economy
Evolution of new varieties/hybrid in vegetables and improvement of their production technology has resulted in increase in area and production of vegetables. Due to increase in production, not only per capita vegetables consumption is improved. This has also resulted in uplift of economy, decrease in imports and increase in exports. Moreover, vegetables prices are also stabilized.
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