BEIJING, Jun 1 (ADN): “We must reduce the use of chemical fertilizers so that organic farming methods such as fermented farmyard manure and returning straw to the field are worthy of promotion, which can also effectively cope with the high price and shortage of local fertilizers.
We are very willing to share our experience with Pakistani friends in this regard.”
This was said by Wang Yan, general manager of Yangling Qingpita Garden Dragon Fruit Demonstration Base in China, in an exclusive with China Economic Net (CEN).
He noted that the Pakistani mango harvest season has already started. This type of fruit known for its strong flavor, great sweetness and fine fibers has long been favored by the world market. However, local farmers are worried about reduced production caused by various factors.
According to an official from the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Pakistan produced about 1.7 to 1.8 million tons of mangoes last year, but this year he said that mango production in the country could face a 30% reduction. Some professionals gave even less optimistic forecasts.
“This year, mango production may be limited to 0.9 million tons compared to 1.8 million tons last year,” said the chief boss of the Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters Association (PFVA). ), Waheed Ahmed. So what is the root cause? Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) Chairman, Dr. Ghulam Ali, said the early onset of summer and abnormally high temperatures did not allow the crop to get the time needed for the fruiting process. . Mid-March saw average temperatures between 37 and 42 degrees.
In contrast, average temperatures during the previous season were around 34 degrees. In addition, the depreciation of the rupee, rising labor costs as well as high electricity and gas tariffs have greatly multiplied the cost of processing mangoes. In view of this, exporters have been forced to reduce the export target from 25,000 tons to 125,000 tons for the current season. Faced with the plight of Pakistani mangoes, Chinese and Pakistani experts are trying to find opportunities for cooperation to change the status quo.
In Yangling Hi-tech Agricultural Industries Demonstration Zone in Shaanxi Province, located in the temperate zone with little water in northwest China, mangoes, as a kind of tropical and subtropical fruit, were harvested for three consecutive years. “Among our top three varieties, one variety with smaller fruits has a yield of about 1.3 tons per mu (0.067 hectare), and the other two varieties with larger fruits have a yield of between 1.5 and 2 tons. by mu. In addition, they all have strong disease and cold resistance,” Wang Yan said. “With our advanced agriculture, I believe that if there is an opportunity for cooperation, we will be able to systematically improve the reduction in mango production in Pakistan due to extreme weather conditions.”
Wang Yan told CEN that once the water and fertilizer integrated greenhouse is built, the service life is generally more than 15 years, with high economic benefits.
“With global warming, extreme weather conditions are likely to occur more frequently in the future, a long-term stable growth environment can fundamentally minimize the damage caused by natural disasters.
Additionally, the application of organic fertilizers to increase soil organic matter is also a top priority, as extreme weather conditions can also cause serious damage to topsoil. If we can work with Iron Brother, we will start with the greenhouse and the ground, and come to a two-pronged approach.
Considering the relatively high cost of an integrated greenhouse, building a simple rain shelter with steel wire and plastic wrap may be a good choice for local farmers. When the weather is nice, the shelter can be taken down, and in extreme weather conditions such as storms and hail, they can unfold the plastic film “umbrella”. This inexpensive method can effectively protect trees. Regarding the misuse of fertilizers and pesticides in Pakistan, Wang Yan also offered his own opinions. “In fact, heavy use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides can easily spoil the fruit. Pakistani farmers desperately need modern orchard management techniques. Mohammad Rafi, a mango farmer, said there was a dire need to introduce modern mango production techniques that could double production per acre within five years. “If the government can offer support, the average grower can increase production per hectare from 12 tons to 22-25 tons by focusing on modern orchard management practices.” Except for planting technology, Wang Yan also proposed the processing of by-products as a useful way to improve the level of industrial development and increase income. “As a cash crop, mangoes have extremely high processing value. Juice, jam, dried fruits, fruit tea and other products are very popular.
If the cooperation between China and Pakistan comes to fruition, we will also fully share the supporting technology of by-product processing. I believe that with modern management technology, the Pakistani mango industry will emerge from the difficult situation and usher in new opportunities.