Farmer education key to corn crop productivity in KPK

Karachi- High performing corn hybrid seeds continue to gain popularity amongst Khyber Pakhtunkhwa farmers. This emerging trend was at display at a large farmer meeting organized by Monsanto Pakistan in District Mardan. Over 150 farmers, extension officers from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Agriculture Department and representatives from the University of Agriculture Peshawar participated in the event.

The gathering provided farmers with an opportunity to share experiences and best practices and ask questions on latest corn hybrid seed technology and optimum agronomic practices for maximum yields. While addressing the Farmers on the occasion, Ahmed Ali, Marketing Lead at Monsanto Pakistan, emphasized the importance of corn crop to the national economy and highlighted the emerging markets for the final harvest, including poultry feed and commercial silage.

Prof. Dr. Muhammad Akmal, Chairman, Department of Agronomy at University of Agriculture, Peshawar in his address also endorsed the value of embracing modern technology and moving towards high yielding hybrid corn seeds and the need for farmers to understand the necessary agronomic practices to reap full benefit.  Dr. Akmal appreciated the effort of technology providers in introducing quality corn seed in the Province called for closer collaboration between the academia and private sector for sustainable development of agriculture in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.

While speaking on behalf of the farmers, Master Fida a leading grower of corn from Mardan district explained the significant yield advantage modern corn hybrid seeds have created for farmers and encouraged the Government and private sector to continue to work closely with the farming community in the future.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province accounts for over 50% of the total corn growing area. However, unlike Punjab Province, only 30% of the total acreage is under high yielding hybrid corn cultivation. Efforts by multinational seed companies has created greater awareness around latest seed technology and agronomic practices. In line with the commitment to provide the best technological solutions to farmers, Monsanto Pakistan has already distributed over 120 seed planting machines benefitting 9,000 farmers together with 20,000 free hybrid seed samples.