Pakistan’s first wheat-chickpea strip intercropping demonstration starts

Islamabad,  December 1 (INP) – Pakistan’s first demonstration of wheat-chickpea strip intercropping technology recently started in Bahawalpur, with the sowing work just finished.

China Economic Net reported on Wednesday that this new intercropping system is expected to add chickpea production on the basis of ensuring the existing production of wheat in the same area of land.

According to Muhammad Ali Raza, Pakistani post-doc of Sichuan Agricultural University (SAU) who is dedicated to promoting Chinese intercropping technology in Pakistan, wheat-chickpea intercropping is expected to achieve the Land Equivalent Ratio up to 1.3.

Wheat-chickpea intercropping demonstration is the latest project under the Intercropping Research Center jointly established by Sichuan Agricultural University (SAU) and the Islamia University of Bahawalpur (IUB), the first-ever national research center dedicated to intercropping within Pakistan inaugurated by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in this August.

Represented by the already widely applied maize-soybean strip intercropping, a Chinese technology from SAU which has taken root in Pakistan for three years yielding excellent results, high-yielding intercropping technologies are gaining much more attention from Pakistan, and wheat-chickpea strip intercropping technology is another promising new try in the country.

“These intercropping systems will increase our soil’s fertility, which will ultimately lift soil productivity. Additionally, they will improve the overall income of our farmers by producing two different crops with the same inputs,” Dr. Muhammad Ali Raza said.

It’s learned from Dr. Muhammad Ali Raza that wheat-chickpea strip intercropping technology is a worldwide research topic. They designed this system mainly based on the research from Prof. Zhang Fusuo of China Agricultural University.

Furthermore, Wageningen University, Netherlands has also done lot of research on these intercropping systems.

Applied and modified according to the needs and the local environment of Pakistan, wheat-chickpea strip intercropping technology is expected to make better use of available space to further increase the yield per hectare and bring economic benifits to Pakistani farmers in the near future.

INP/javed