Good farming practices stressed for food security

STAFF REPORT ISB: Potato consumption has grown significantly in Pakistan over the last one decade, but still, more than 99% of farmers grow potatoes from non-certified seeds, renowned Dutch expert on food security, Romke Wustman said.

In his special lecture on Food Security and Need for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in Crop Production, organized jointly by SDPI and the Embassy of Netherlands, he said ensuring uses of technology at all stages of production, which includes storage as well, can improve economic benefit to farmers and other stakeholders.

Wustman said, market oriented production based on stakeholders wishes gives feedback to breeders and researchers. This leads to good agricultural practices, which needs specific demands from processes and retailers.

Choosing the right variety, which is resistant to disease and other attacks and using minimum amount of fertilizer and herbicides is the key maintaining Good Agricultural Practice (GAP).

He said, soil borne pest are controlled by developing crop rotation system. Developing Potato cysts resistant varieties backed by decision support system can have good impact.

Wustman said, use of Nitrogen fertilizer can be rationalized by using modern technology like GPS. He maintained that minimum lethal dose of herbicides should be used for weed control.

Renate Pors, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Netherlands, explained the context of the public diplomacy initiative and the Netherlands commitment to food security.

She said that the Netherlands had high agricultural productivity and expertise in associated technologies and solutions which they were sharing with Pakistan through these seminars.

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