Pakistan’s first demonstration of wheat-chickpea strip intercropping technology recently started in Bahawalpur, with the sowing just finished.

This new intercropping system is expected to add chickpea production on the basis of ensuring the existing output of wheat in the same area of land.

According to Pakistani postdoc at Sichuan Agricultural University Muhammad Ali Raza, who is dedicated to promoting Chinese intercropping technology in Pakistan, wheat-chickpea intercropping is expected to achieve land equivalent ratio of up to 1:3.

Wheat-chickpea intercropping demonstration is the latest project under the Intercropping Research Centre, jointly established by Sichuan Agricultural University and the Islamia University of Bahawalpur.

It is the first-ever national research centre dedicated to intercropping within Pakistan, inaugurated by Prime Minister Imran Khan in August.

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

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

According to him, wheat-chickpea strip intercropping technology is a worldwide research topic. They designed this system mainly based on research from Zhang Fusuo of China Agricultural University.

Furthermore, Wageningen University, Netherlands has also done a 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 benefits to local farmers in the near future.

THE ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON THE CHINA ECONOMIC NET

Published in The Express Tribune, December 2nd, 2021.

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