HomeInternational NewsPakistani agronomy PhD works fertile land in China

Pakistani agronomy PhD works fertile land in China

BEIJING, Apr 10 (APP): After the rain, the coarse earth is plowed and cracked with the roar of tractors, exposing the stubble that was left in the field all winter.

Amidst the spring plowing crowd, stands a dark-skinned, bearded foreign man. Walking between fields, leaning over to examine the thickness, softness, and moisture of the soil is Muhammad Ahmad Hassan, a doctor of agronomy from Pakistan. Spring came, and his new year of agricultural experiments began.

Five years ago, Hassan came to Anhui Agricultural University to pursue a doctorate in agronomy, specializing in freeze-resistant wheat. After graduation, he continued his studies on water-saving and drought-resistant rice at Anhui Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

In the view of this agriculture enthusiast, spring plowing is a crucial step to ensure the healthy growth of crops. These days, in addition to studying and researching in the classroom and laboratory, he also spends a lot of time exploring and excavating in the field, uncovering many treasures, China Economic Net (CEN) reported.

“There is a Chinese proverb that says ‘seeing is believing’. In the past few years, I have visited numerous fields and farms where I observed the utilization of various modern and intelligent machinery. These include tractors equipped with satellites and self-driving systems, plant protection drones capable of efficiently spraying herbicides, and soil moisture monitors that can provide real-time monitoring of soil humidity. It is really eye-opening!” Hassan said.

Not long ago, he visited the digital strawberry demonstration garden in Changfeng County, Hefei City. He observed strawberries growing in “mid-air,” inspection robots collecting various data at different times and locations, and intelligent water and fertilizer systems operating automatically. “The orchard is equipped with automated machinery that can be controlled and monitored remotely in real-time using cell phones and computers.” recalled Hassan excitedly.

Under the framework of Belt and Road Initiative, water-saving and drought-resistant rice research team of the Anhui Academy of Agricultural Sciences has trained over 300 agricultural scientific and technological personnel from countries along BRI. This was achieved by establishing international cooperative research centers and test bases in Cambodia, Pakistan, and other locations. Hassan is one of them.

 The academy selected and bred a batch of high-quality rice varieties, which were introduced to BRI countries for trial planting to meet the local food needs. “Anhui’s rice breeding capacity is very strong, especially in water-saving and drought-resistant rice, which is at the forefront of the world. The average yield of rice per mu in Pakistan is about 300 kg, and it can reach about 500 kg after the introduction of Anhui improved varieties. I have a lot to learn,” said Hassan.

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