Pakistan needs to promote seed coating technology to ensure food security amid soaring demand due to high prices and climatic change impacts.

Seed coating technology can help ensure food security

Dr M Aown Sammar Raza, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Agriculture and Environment at the Islamia University of Bahawalpur, told WealthPK that due to climatic conditions like floods, droughts, and high temperatures, supply of nutrition to crops has been affected. He said these conditions might cause issues of food security in Pakistan. Dr Aown said food security conditions in Pakistan are alarming. He mentioned that the purchasing power of the population is adversely affected by inflationary pressures on food items. Seed coating technology, There is a high risk of food insecurity among people below the poverty line. According to the International Food Security Assessment by the US Department of Agriculture, in the ongoing decade, from 2021-31, 38% of Pakistan’s population will be food insecure. This assessment also reports that Pakistan suffers from prominent food gap in the entire region, with food insecurity estimates even below Bangladesh. According to a recent World Food Programme (WFP) survey, around 82% of children in Pakistan have been deprived of minimum number of meals a day, and the country has the second worst prevalence of malnutrition in the region. Approximately 18% of children under five suffer from acute malnutrition, while 40% of the same age group suffer from stunted development. Food insecurity affects three out of five households.

Dr Aown said that seed coating is a process that helps in ensuring food security by protecting seeds from pests, diseases, and climatic conditions. “By applying a coating to the seeds, farmers can reduce losses during planting, growth, and harvesting.  Seed coating technology, Coatings also improve the quality and uniformity of the crops, which can lead to increased yields,” he added. He said this technology enriches the seeds with ingredients that protect them from soil-borne diseases and accelerates the germination process to increase seed quality and crop yield by up to 20 to 25%. Dr Aown said the seed pelleting or coating adds inert materials like phosphorus, vermicompost, cow manure, red soil, and clay powders as filler and 1.5% methyl cellulose and 3% polyvinyl alcohol to seeds, increasing their weight, size, and shape. He said these coated pellets can be broadcast or drilled directly into the soil, reducing the time necessary to prepare the seed for planting and making planting easier, especially for a crop that grows from small or irregularly shaped seeds, such as lettuce, carrots, and onions. Dr Aown said pelleting seeds make it easier to store and transport. Seed coating technology, The seeds are less likely to be blown away or washed in a rainstorm. They protect the seed from pests and diseases and help to ensure even germination and plant growth. He asserted that along with crop productivity, seed pelleting contributes to the economy through exports. In 2022, seed pelleting industry in Pakistan is expected to generate around Rs1.5 billion in revenue. The industry is expected to grow at around 15% annually, making it one of Pakistan’s fast-growing industries. However, Dr Aown warned that seed quarantine laws in exporting countries lower the exports of pelleted seeds from Pakistan to avoid the risk of seed diseases, which is a severe threat to seed exports of Pakistan. He said universities and research institutes also need to take initiatives to ensure the quality of pelleted seeds so that they can produce high crop yields in Pakistan and also make exports to other countries.

Source: This news is originally published by nation

By Web Team

Technology Times Web team handles all matters relevant to website posting and management.