Agri-scientist for opting vertical farming for beauty and productivity

Agri-scientist for opting vertical farming for beauty and productivity

ISLAMABAD, Jan 5 (APP):The fragmentation of arable land into smaller pieces coupled with rapidly decreasing agricultural labor force requires Pakistan to consider vertical farming practices, said a professor of Plant Breeding & Genetics while talking to APP.

GROW is a viable alternative to mainstream agriculture. It is a design-based light recipe which shines vertically across the farmland. You experience the artwork as ‘dancing lights’ across the huge agricultural field.

This modern agriculture called vertical farming reduces or completely eliminates the use of pesticides or any other preservatives while providing sustainable agriculture solution.

Talking to APP, Professor Dr. Ijaz Rasool Noorka, Chairman Department of Plant Breeding & Genetics at Ghazi University Dera Ghazi Khan, said that vertical farming is the new future of agriculture and also aesthetically pleasing.

While sharing the details Dr. Ijaz briefed the concept and benefits of vertical farming which will be introduced in Pakistan under China Pakistan Economic Corridor as was mentioned by Punjab Provincial Minister for Agriculture Syed Hussain Jahania Gardezi, late last year at Kissan convention.

“Illuminated blue, red & ultraviolet lights not only create beauty, atmospheric mood but also give life to a new style of farming. These led lights which are used in vertical farming are creating an enchanting environment for viewers along with providing the basic growth for plants grown through vertical farming,” Dr Ijaz maintained.

“In Pakistan, we do horizontal agriculture. But it needs to be changed according to the requirements of the day. We surely have to opt the GROW lights and hydroponics to achieve sustainable agriculture which will also lit up the environment with its immense beauty ” he remarked.

He further said, “Due to population boost arable land in Pakistan is facing the crisis of fragmentation between generations. Presently, more than 80% farm area is 2 – 2.5 acre for one farmer. This means more than 80% farmers have land less than 2 acres which is too little for mechanized farming.

This creates the opportunity to go for vertical farming and use of GROW light technique because it requires cultivation in racks, pipes and trays which can be installed in very less area.”

“Another reason to go for this modern style of farming is the shortage of labor in agriculture which is growing with every passing day due to urbanization. By incorporating vertical farming, a farmer will be able to get following benefits simultaneously.

This includes; reduced cost of pesticides, tube wells, fertilizers, huge labor, cultivation and threshing as it requires only one time installation of whole setup in any space.

This will eventually reduce the running cost which is usually very high in horizontal farming along with increasing the threshold of agricultural produce including maximum net profit for the farmer,” Dr Ijaz stated.

Although at private level, Pakistan’s first ever vertical farm had started its working in 2019 in Karachi by Farhan Sohail an engineering graduate from the American University, still it has a long way to be implemented at greater national level, under the supervision of relevant official institutions.