INTERVIEW WITH AHMED NAWAZ NAICH, AGRICULTURAL SCIENTIST

KHALIL AHMED
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)
July 18 - 24, 20
11

Ahmed Nawaz Naich has more than 34 years of experience in agriculture research. He has held the following posts: sugarcane specialist at Quaid-e-Awam Agriculture Research Institute Larkana, Deputy Director at Sindh Horticulture Research Institute Mirpur Khas, Director at Quaid-e-Awam Agriculture Research Institute Larkana, Director at Rice Research Institute Dokri and Director at Wheat Research Institute Sakrand.

Mr. Naich has been delivering the technical lectures regarding new high yielding varieties of sugarcane, wheat and rice along with their production technologies from Pakistan Television, Sindh T.V, KTN, Radio Pakistan Karachi & Sachal FM Larkana. He has written a good number of books, booklets, articles, pamphlets etc. to disseminate the latest production technologies to the growers so as to maximize the production of different crops ultimately to boost up the economy of the country.

Mr. Ahmed Nawaz Naich is the most renowned and country's famous agriculture scientist. He has done a lot of research work in connection with the evaluation of high yielding varieties of different crops specially sugarcane along with the latest production technologies. He has evolved couple of high sugarcane varieties, rich in sugar, free from incest, pest and disease.

HIS ACHIEVEMENTS

  NAME OF VARIETY AVERAGE YIELD/ACRE SUGAR RECOVERY (IN PER CENT) STATUS
01. Larkana-2001 1800-2000 mds. 11 Released
02. Chandka 1500-16000 mds. 10.5 Released
03. Larkana-2001 1800-2000 mds. 11+ Under release process
04. Banj Bakhash 1500-1600 11+ Under release process
05. Larkana-2003 1400-1500 11.5 Pipe line

SUGARCANE:

It is to be noted that the average per acre yield of sugarcane in Sindh is up to 525 to 550 mds where as all the above new varieties are producing 3-4 times more yield than the average yield of Sindh.

WHEAT: Naich has also introduced the new wheat varieties.

FOREIGN VISITS:

1. Participated in the workshop regarding water saving techniques at Chingdu, China.

2. Participated in international workshop on cool rice for warm world at Wuhan, China.

3. Participated in the inception meeting of ADB-funded project, "Developing and Disseminating Water-saving Rice Technologies in South Asia at International Rice Research Institute, Los Bonas, Laguna, Philippines.

4. Workshop on "Soil and Root Health Issues in Water-saving Rice Systems at International Rice Research Institute, Los Bonas, Laguna, Philippines.

When asked about sowing, Naich was of the opinion that there is a big problem of shortage of late sown wheat varieties because more than 70 per cent area goes under late cultivation due to late harvesting of rice, sugarcane, and cotton crops. Therefore, there is dire need to evolve the new varieties very suitable for late sowing to get the maximum per acre yield. As the Director of Wheat Research Institute, he has introduced the new variety SKD-II which can be sown up to first week of December. It gives about 15 to 20 per cent more yield than the late variety TJ-83.

Regarding new varieties, PAGE came to know that another new wheat variety named GQ-9 has been introduced which is very high yielding and producing up to 80 mds/acre. Its plant height is only 1 - 1.5 thus highly resistant to lodging. It is an early sown variety.

He has also done the research work on the serious burning issues of the growers mainly shortage of irrigation water, global warming and drought and evaluation of high yielding late sown varieties, as already mentioned above.

With the collaboration of International Rice Research Institute Philippines, the work on aerobic rice cultivation was started. Under this system, there is no need to raise the nursery. After preparation of land, the sowing is carried out through drill and then application of irrigation water. Next irrigation would be applied when soil gets cracked and moisture goes down up to 20 cm in the soil. This way 35-40 per cent irrigation can be saved to face the challenges of irrigation of water. Expenditure of nursery sowing was saved also. Another system i.e. alternate drying and wetting, under this system after transplanting the irrigation is needed when the soil becomes dry. Through this way 30-35 per cent water can be saved to face the challenges of shortage of irrigation water. Group of different local and international rice varieties were sown under aerobic and alternate drying and wetting systems. Two varieties DR-92 and Shahkar were found the drought tolerant varieties.

There are so many ways to save the irrigation water. For example

- Lining of watercourse
- Land leveling
- Ridge sowing
- Drip irrigation
- Trickle irrigation
- Mulching
- Zero tillage etc.