Chinese irrigation technology could boost agriculture production in Pakistan: Yang Wansen

BEIJING, May 12 (INP): Drip irrigation expected to boost cotton, sugarcane production in Pakistan, it was reported by China Economic Net (CEN) quoting Yang Wansen, General Manager of Xinjiang Tianye Water Saving Irrigation System Company.

The report says, the climate of Pakistan is very similar to that of Southern Xinjiang, especially Aksu. The drip irrigation under film mulch has been developing in Xinjiang for 22 years and it is very mature now.
The technology has been applied in an area of more than 5.3 million hectares in Xinjiang, Yang Wansen told CEN.

Since 2006, the integration of water and fertilizer has been promoted in Xinjiang cotton field. In particular, the use of drip irrigation under film mulch has increased the irrigation guarantee rate, increased the utilization rate of fertilizers, and reduced the level of mechanical operations.

It also improved the utilization rate of land, inhibited the growth of weeds, which is conducive to the high yield and quality of cotton, reduce labor intensity, and improve economic benefits, Yang noted.

Cotton produced in Xinjiang makes up 87% of China’s total production, while nearly 70% of Xinjiang’s cotton fields use machinery to pick cotton during the harvesting season, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

Pakistan, which has suffered a decline in cotton planting area in recent years, urgently needs to increase its cotton yield per unit area. “We have extended drip irrigation technology to 17 countries, including Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. The yield of cotton increased by 40% on average in Uzbekistan with our technology applied in 400-hectare field. I think this technology is completely applicable in Pakistan,” Yang said.

Compared with cotton, sugarcane is a water-intensive crop. The sugarcane crop uses three and a half times as much water per acre as an acre planted with cotton,  according to a recent Pakistan Institute of Development Economics study’s estimate.

Regarding this, China’s drip irrigation technology can offer a solution to the water shortage of sugarcane cultivation in Pakistan, Yang said. Pakistan’s water stress may repress interest and motivation among sugarcane growers. Touching on this, Yang introduced his company’s project experience in southwest China’s Sichuan province.

“There is a 294-meter high Jiangjun Mountain in Sichuan Province. Since 2014, we have planted six batches of trees on this mountain, covering a total area of 220 hectares.
In order to overcome the water shortage in hilly areas, we developed a pressure compensated irrigator. The pressure level required by drip irrigation is twice as low as that of sprinkler irrigation. This could also provide a reference for Pakistan’s low water pressure.”

In the future, we will consider not just one type of irrigation method, but a whole set of ecosystem solutions, Yang added.

At a recently held seminar of China-Pakistan Agricultural and Industrial Cooperation Information Platform, Yang also shared how his company developed appropriate cotton plant and row spacing for cotton-picking machine, and the requirements for machine-picking technology including cotton varieties, agronomic cultivation and fields production management.

The seminar, focusing on current cooperation achievements and potential avenues for cooperation in crops including wheat, maize-soybean, cotton and sugarcane, was officially launched by China Economic Net and China-Pakistan Agricultural Cooperation and Exchange Center (China Machinery Engineering Corporation).