Speakers at an international workshop called for ensuring balance usage of fertilisers to overcome the decreasing soil fertility.

They were addressing a workshop on fertilisers use in Pakistan. it was arranged by Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture Faisalabad in collaboration with the International Centre for Agri Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA).

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Addressing the inaugural session, UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar said that balanced use of fertilisers could result in increasing productivity of major crops up to 50 percent. He added that the university had developed models for proper prediction of fertiliser doses. He said that almost all the soils had become deficient in Nitrogen and phosphorus. He said that the situation demanded to meet the requirements of crops due to which agriculture production had decreased considerably. He said that the UAF in collaboration with the Agriculture Department had developed a model giving the suggestion to the farmers about the recommended fertilizer usage in their field.

Dean Faculty of Agriculture Dr Arshad said that nitrogen use efficiency in cropping system is very low with often 30 to 40 percent of the applied N being taken off in grain produced and a large proportion of remainder being lost to the environment. He said that inefficient use of nitrogen fertiliser and resultantly the loss of N to the environment are the major concern of current agricultural system in Pakistan,.

Institute Director Dr Javed Akhtar called for raising the awareness among the farming community about the balance usage of fertilisers that will help in achieving food security. He said that an all-out effort was being made in that regard. He said that balanced use of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilisers could give additional income worth billions of rupees.

Dr Rashid also said that fertilisers prediction model developed by UAF gives balanced amounts of N and P to meet the requirements for desired yield. ICARDA Project Leader Usman Khalid said that ICARDA and UAF are working together to assess, quantify, and document nutrient flows and agri nutrient budget in the major agro ecological areas. He said that such workshops were meant for raising awareness of the masses. He stressed a need for the joint efforts on the part of academic, NGO, government and other stakeholders to fight the challenges.