The Punjab Agriculture Research Board (PARB) has awarded Rs 21.9 million research project to the Government College University (GCU) Lahore Department of Environmental Sciences for cost effective improvement in nutritive value of rice and wheat crops through nanoparticles dopted biochar in saline-sodic soils. Punjab Agricultural Minister Mr. Muhammad Naeem Akhtar Khan Bhabha handed over the cheque of rupees six million as first installment to Dr. Waqas-ud-Din Khan, the Project Manager and Assistant Professor, GCU Lahore at graceful ceremony at the PARB office on Thursday. PARB Chief Executive Dr. Noor ul Islam and GCU Director Research Prof Dr Ikram ul Haq were also present.
Talking about the project, Dr Waqas-ud-Din Khan said wheat was a major cereal crop of Punjab province growing on a large area of 9.26 million ha, with 25.48 million tonnes of production.
Therefore, it has a significant potential to secure food availability for increasing population. However, in Pakistan, 6.3 million hactare land is saline-sodic.
If this saline-sodic area is brought under wheat cultivation, additionally 8.6 million tons of wheat production would be expected, while considering 50% yield reduction in these poor soils.