Sowing of maize & soybean under intercropping system for next season starts
ISLAMABAD, July 15 (Gwadar Pro) – Sowing of maize and soybean under intercropping system for next season has almost completed at Koont Research Farm, Chakwal, a demonstration of maize-soybean strip intercropping technology.
“In the coming month’s first week, we will complete other demonstrations’ sowing work,” said Muhammad Ali Raza, the post-doc of Sichuan Agricultural University (SAU) who is promoting the advanced Chinese agricultural technology in Pakistan.
Sowing of maize and soybean for next season at the demonstration in Chakwal. [Photo provided by Muhammad Ali Raza]
Local farmers sow maize and soybean. [Photo provided by Muhammad Ali Raza]
The maize-soybean intercropping system just achieved bumper harvest. In Bahawalpur, the yields of soybean and maize reach 1,304 kg/ha and 8,596 kg/ha respectively. Meanwhile, the total benefits substantially expand because of soybean’s high economic returns as it can be processed for extracting oil or manufacturing feed, etc. Under the intercropping system, farmers can grow soybean without curbing the cultivation of maize.
Next season many new demonstrations are going to be built in more places including Vehari, Rawalpindi and Pakpatan in cooperation with PMAS-Arid Agriculture University (AAUR), National Agricultural Research Center (NARC) and Rawalpindi Agriculture Department, etc. Besides Ali, NARC Senior Scientific Officer Dr. Ashiq Saleem, AAUR Professor Dr. Muhammad Ansar, Deputy Director of Agriculture Department Dr. Zameer Kiani will be in charge of these demonstrations. The total area of demonstrations will reach about 11 hectares with an increase of nearly 221%.
In addition, according to Sajad Hussain, another SAU student who is looking after the demonstration in Layyah, high temperature resistant cultivars of soybean have been found out. Moreover, maize-soybean based silage demonstration will be included in next plan.
The Chinese professor Yang Wenyu from SAU will continue to help with the technology, varieties and machinery. Besides the assistance related to this intercropping tech, by the year of 2020, 47 Pakistani students of AAUR have got scholarships from SAU under the MoU signed during Prof. Yang's visit to Pakistan with Ali in 2018.
It should be noted that this intercropping system shows excellent ecological sustainability. Due to the fixation of nitrogen by soybean, next season’s crops will enjoy better soil. “If farmers follow this technology, they can produce soybean easily for times in one year and get fertile soil. After some years, it will reduce the application rate of artificial nitrogen application,” Ali explained about this eco-friendly beneficial cycle.