Poor Performance by Agriculture Industry is Due to Local Tractors

Pakistan’s agriculture sector is plagued by locally made low horsepower tractors, according to the Pakistan Business Council’s (PBC) State of Pakistan’s Agriculture report (PBC).

The tractor industry was protected from imports decades ago to support local manufacturers and boost production. The report stated that Pakistan’s most common tractors have 50 horsepower, despite decades of protection and the government’s insistence on farmers to buy them.

The report adds that the Low-horsepower tractors can only plough soil up to 18 inches. This means that most Pakistani farms have soil compaction of 15–18 inches. The report stated, a “Hardpan” must be broken for cotton to grow sustainably.

Cotton plants grow roots over four feet deep and use soil water. The Hardpan causes cotton plant roots to turn right at 18 inches or less.

The cotton plant’s natural needs aren’t met due to seasonal farm machinery. According to the report, Pakistani cotton farmers use excessive surface watering instead of soil watering.

Incorrect watering attracts insects and increases insecticide use, violating global sustainability standards. “If the correct farm machinery is used, less surface water will mean less insects, less insecticide sprays, and greater sustainability,” the report stated.

Via: Express Tribune

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