Soybean production in Pakistan may be spurred by high-yielding varieties from China
by Thea Wadeyla
ISLAMABAD, Sep. 15 (Gwadar Pro) - Gu Wenliang, Agricultural Commissioner of the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Raza, post-doctoral research fellow of Sichuan Agricultural University, and Prof. Muhammad Ansar, Chairman of Agronomy Department of PMAS-Arid Agriculture University held talks to further fuel maize-soybean strip intercropping technology's development in Pakistan.
Gu Wenliang, Agricultural Commissioner of the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, meets with Muhammad Ali Raza and Prof. Muhammad Ansar on Sep. 14. [Photo provided by Muhammad Ali Raza]
Gu Wenliang admired Muhammad Ali Raza, Prof. Yang Wenyu and other agricultural experts for promoting maize-soybean intercropping technology in Pakistan to tap the potential of Pak-Sino agricultural cooperation. When it comes to the difficulties faced by the research team, Gu Wenliang expressed the embassy’s willingness to give full support on bringing high-yielding soybean varieties, pesticides and weedicides for intercropping, and machinery to Pakistan.
This year the technology has achieved promising results at multiple demonstration plots across Pakistan both under irrigated and rainfed conditions. “We have limitations in maize and soybean varieties, machinery, pesticides and weedicides. After we get these things prepared, the yields can be raised still further,” said Muhammad Ali Raza.
At present, Pakistan’s soybean solely depends on imports while the domestic demand of soybean keeps growing. By adopting this intercropping system, Pakistan may gradually realize self-production of soybean without curbing the current cultivation area of maize.
So far, sowing of maize and soybean under intercropping system has been finished at 9 demonstration plots inlcuding Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Shakar Garh, Vehari and Bahawalpur.
The last sowing work has finished at Khair Pur Tamewali, District Bahawalpur. [Photo provided by Muhammad Ali Raza]
Hindered by COVID-19 pandemic, Pakistani students who belong to Chinese universities like Muhammad Ali Raza stay in Pakistan and keep studying online. Although the studies haven’t been disrupted on the grounds of universities and students’ joint efforts, they still have some worries about when they can return to campus. Gu Wenliang eased their concern that China’s Ministry of Education is working on this issue and solutions will come out soon. If students meet difficulties getting degrees, the embassy is ready to help.