07 August 2023, China: A letter of intent (LoI) was signed last Thursday in Beijing by the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF) and the Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science (IPPCAAS) to create a collaborative Pakistan-China laboratory for agricultural pest management.
According to IPPCAAS, the two parties will begin operating the joint laboratory, conducting tests, demonstrations, and joint research on integrated disease control technologies for crop pests and diseases of shared concern, as well as technical staff training, personnel exchange, and training.
″Pakistan suffers a lot from the pest problem. For example, the white fly is affecting cotton, citrus, guava, etc. When our fruits and vegetables are being exported to different Middle East countries, sometimes they are rejected due to the presence of these fruit flies and residues of pesticides. Out of the 1,300 molecules of pesticides registered in Pakistan. Not a single molecule is able to control the white fly″, said Prof. Muhammad Jalal Arif, Chairman, Department of Entomology of UAF told China Economic Net.
He said that Pakistan is also facing the issue of economic threshold level and economic injury level. ″When we decide to manage or control any pests, we must go by pest scouting, pest monitoring, and assessment of pest population. When they exceed a certain number, we decide on the pesticide application. In the last 75 years, we have an old threshold and injury level, which should be revised in days to come″, he added.
According to Prof. Muhammad Jafar Jaskani, Director, Office of Research, Innovation and Commercialization of UAF, this collaboration is part of Pakistan’s efforts towards climate-smart agriculture. ″It would be good to secure the food for future generations. So genetic change, use of biotechnology… these are the tools which can make the food secure in both countries″, he said.
The collaboration with the University of Faisalabad holds national significance for Pakistan. ″Faisalabad is the city of textile. The presence of a special economic zone calls for augmented research to underpin its industrial development. We also have an institute that has educated 6,000 students who have passed different levels of the Chinese language and can act as a bridge between the two sides of the cooperation. Located in the center of Pakistan, it is easy for us to reach farmers in different places in the country″, said Dr. Abid Ali from the UAF Department of Entomology.
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