“To support Pakistan in its fight against the floods, we will donate some seeds of hybrid rice to Pakistani farmers. We will also send more technicians to the country to support post-flood reconstruction”, said Mr. Zhou Xusheng, Director of Pakistan Business Department, Wuhan Qingfa Hesheng Seed Co., Ltd. a Chinese developer and provider of hybrid seeds, in an interview with China Economic Net (CEN). The company has been providing hybrid seeds of rice, canola and vegetables to Pakistan for nearly twenty years. In particular, it registered the first hybrid rice variety -QY0413 in the history of Pakistan.
According to Mr. Zhou, North Sindh, home to 60% of the hybrid rice in Pakistan, is one of the worst-hit areas in the floods. It is expected that the export of rice, which is an important means for Pakistan to earn foreign exchange, will suffer greatly.“It may take three years for the rice production and export in Pakistan to recover”, Mr. Zhou added.“By sending more technicians to the rural areas, we aim to improve the effective use of fertilizers and pesticides to achieve maximize production with minimum cost”, he said.
As extreme weather conditions have become more frequent, the company has laid out a blueprint to minimize losses from natural disasters. First of all, the resistance of crop varieties should be improved. “For example, in China, our rice varieties have performed well in the usual heat wave this year. For floods, too, the varieties can be improved”, Mr. Zhou told CEN. Second, the production of seeds can be carried out both in Pakistan and China so that they can complement each other in case of extreme weather. Test stations can also be more scattered in different cities in to spread the risk.
Mr. Zhou also mentioned the importance of the repair of irrigation canals and ditches and road infrastructure. “It would be devastating for farmers if they could not sow normally in the coming months. Efforts are also required in the maintenance of soil fertility, land levelling, and prevention of diseases”, he added.
Credit: Independent News Pakistan