Consul General Grace Shelton along with Chairman Pakistan Agricultural Research Council Dr. Yusuf Zafar inaugurated “Sindh Province’s Soil Fertility Atlas Study Report” at a local hotel here on Monday. This launch is part of a partnership between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC), USAID, and the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The Soil Fertility Atlas for Sindh provides a comprehensive account of the soil types and their current fertility status, native best management practices, fertilizer use trends at the farm-gate level, and management strategies for normal and constrained soils for resource based improvement.
Speaking at the event, Consul General Grace Shelton said, “The United States’ fifty-year commitment to partnering with Pakistan to strengthen its agricultural sector and rural communities continues today.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Agency for International Development are partnering with their counterparts throughout Pakistan to transfer expertise and technology to improve economic opportunities for farmers and their families.
In his comments, Francisco Gamarro, Deputy FAOR Pakistan noted, “This launch event marks the closing of this project but also is just the beginning in connecting the private sector and farmers’ associations in the country for promoting nutrient stewardship for enhanced and improved productivity.”
The Atlas is based on the agricultural statistics, field-based assessment and source data collected from provincial and federal departments and agencies.
Series of workshops/ consultations were conducted at various locations across Sindh province for gathering information and document experience from the national and provincial stakeholders including growers of major crops like wheat, rice, cotton, maize, and sugarcane. The loss of soil fertility in many developing countries poses an immediate threat to food security.
Appropriate use of fertilizers on soils of low natural fertility makes it possible to grow more and promote crop diversification.