Pakistan and China have reaffirmed their commitment to cooperating on agricultural mechanisation, according to China Economic Net on Friday.
“Slow adoption of automation technologies has been a major contributor to low yields and inefficiency in farming in Pakistan, resulting in reduced profits for farmers.” remarked Dr. Muhammad Waqar Akram, a professor at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad’s Department of Farm Equipment and Power.
He is participating in the Modern Agriculture Workshop of the China-Pakistan Regional Innovation Center for Modern Agriculture, which is coordinated by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and hosted by Jiangsu University.
The five-month course, which begins at the end of March, offers comprehensive teaching in the use and maintenance of contemporary agricultural gear, field management, water-saving irrigation, food processing, and other topics.
According to Dr. Muhammad Waqar , there are no current updated adequate research or surveys on the current situation of farm mechanisation in Pakistan.
However, preliminary research indicates that agricultural machinery usage and acceptance rates are quite low.
“Farm mechanisation in Pakistan has been restricted to a few basic instruments for soil preparation and older models of combination harvesters while harvesting grain crops,” he stated. The introduction of appropriate automation technologies would be critical for increasing agricultural output and growth in Pakistan.
In his personal view, the machines which should be common and popular in Pakistan are related to rice, , maize, cotton and sugarcane crops, as these are the main crop of Pakistan, but utilisation of machinery for these crops is very low or non-existent, such as planters for cotton, maize, and sugarcane crops, transplanters for rice crops, cotton pickers for cotton crops, maize harvesters, sugarcane harvesters, drone spraying tech, and so on.
He also mentioned that owing to the seasonal nature of agriculture, agricultural machinery is often idle for long periods of time. incurring needless high expenditures unless proper off-season usage of such gear is made To deal with this circumstance, multi-crop planters and harvesters have a large potential to be used in a wide range of applications.
Lack of knowledge, poor agricultural equipment manufacturing standards, a lack of replacement and repair facilities, particularly in rural areas, a lack of agricultural machinery standardisation, and a lack of knowledge transmission are preventing Pakistani farmers from reaping the advantages of modern agricultural machineries.
Pakistan is characterised by small farms and dispersed land holdings. “In terms of present average farm size and farmer budget, I believe small scale technology is one of the better possibilities for Pakistan.” Another possibility may be the creation of machinery pools to make pricey machines available for hire in cities and villages,” he said.
“I am really interested in working with Chinese researchers to build contemporary farming machinery.” “The China-Pakistan Regional Innovation Center for Smart Agriculture, which was opened on March 28th, would serve as a facilitating platform,” he stated.