Agriculture Research

Agriculture Research

Agriculture Research Wing Sindh Tandojam

Introduction / Background / History

Agriculture Research Sindh has played a significant role in the upliftment of agriculture Sector in the province.  The main campus has an easy access and is situated on Hyderabad-Mirpurkhas dual carriage way. Tandojam is the hub of agriculture related activities in the province of Sindh. Sindh Agriculture University, Agriculture Research Institute, Nuclear Institute of Agriculture, Transfer Technology Institute, Drainage and Reclamation Center, Local Government Training Institute are located at the same campus. 

History of Agriculture Research Sindh

Agriculture Research was started in Sindh, as early as the year 1904, with establishment of a multi-crop research station at Mirpurkhas.  It was shifted to Sakrand district Nawab Shah (Presently Shaheed Benazir Abad) with same mandate during the year 1926.  After the commissioning of the Sukkur Barrage in 1932, the need for agricultural education was felt for Sindh. Therefore, an Agriculture College named as the King George-V Institute of Agriculture was established and associated with Agriculture Research at Sakrand in 1939-40.  With beginning of Kotri barrage it was shifted from Sakrand to Tandojam district Hyderabad during the year 1955, having more facilities of buildings, land and staff.  With the passage of time, International Research Institutes on various crops were established throughout the world, which made new inventions in agriculture. Concurrently, the population of the province was also increasing year after year, hence, need for further strengthening agriculture research in Sindh was felt to feed increasing mouths.  Likewise, Agriculture Research was separated from Agriculture College during 1962 and named as Agriculture Research Institute for evolution of improved varieties of field crops and development of crop / zone specific production technologies to realize the yield potential of improved varieties. 

Another, Agriculture Research Station was established in Larkano during 1926 to conduct research on rice and dry crops as well.  That station with same name and mandate was shifted to Dokri, 5 Kilometers from Moen-jo-Daro during 1932.  Afterward, with the beginning of Sukkur Barrage, considering texture of local soils, rice canal was constructed for the area; similarly, the name of Agriculture Research Station Dokri was changed as Rice Research Station, assigned to focus only on development of new high yielding, quality rice varieties and their production technology.  With the struggle of its dedicated scientists and supporting staff improved rice varieties were developed / introduced along with their production technology paddy yield per unit area in the province doubled, which made the country able to export rice and earn millions of dollars. In appreciation and encouragement Rice Research Station was upgraded as Rice Research Institute, Dokri during 1973, strengthening facility of residential / non-residential buildings and staff.  

Considering importance of research on fruit and vegetable crops, Sindh Horticulture Research Institute was established at Mirpurkhas during 1985. 

The wheat, being a number one food staple of country’s population, it deserves more attention in terms of new improved varieties and production technology to achieve maximum yield per unit area, hence, Wheat Research Institute was established at Sakrand during 1986 to focus on wheat crop only. 

After the establishment of four Directorates of different Research Institutes in Sindh having number of research stations / sub-stations, the need for Directorate General was enormously felt, which could effectively put the efforts of all research institutes at one place and develop suitable cropping systems,  for different growing zones of the province.  Therefore, Directorate General, Agriculture Research Sindh was established during 1987 headquartered at Hyderabad. 

The cultivation of Dubari crops is a common practice in rice growing areas of Sindh, which are grown on residual moisture of rice, applying no additional irrigation water during their growth period.  Quaid-e-Awam Agriculture Research Institute was established in Larkana during the year 1991 with the mandate to conduct research on development of different crop varieties, which could be successfully grown in rotation with rice under dubari conditions.              

Evolution of Improved Crop Varieties and Production Techniques

Agriculture Research Sindh has evolved number of improved crop varieties and production techniques, which include:

  • Agronomic requirements viz. seed, sowing time, method, spacing, maintenance of plant population, number of irrigations with proper interval, use of fertilizers etc. for specific varieties under different climatic, cropping systems and management conditions
  • Development of pest control technologies including integrated pest management (IPM) for control of insect pests, diseases and weed management.
  • Mass rearing of parasites (Trichogramma) and Predators (Chrysopa)
  • Supply of parasites and predator cards to the growers
  • Recommendations of new pesticides based on research trials
  • Efficient and economical use of fertilizers based on soil and crop type
  • Economical use of salt affected lands and use of inputs on such type of soils
  • Judicious use of irrigation water (quantity and time)
  • Testing of technologies on farmers’ fields through demonstration trials to show improved production technology on their door steps.
  • Determination of technology on post-harvest losses of fruits, vegetables and field crops.
  • Onion seed production technology.
  • Role of micronutrients such as Zinc, Boron.
  • Production and supply of BNS, pre-basic and basic seed of different crops
  • Testing of soil to determine its fertility status, based on results, kind and dose of fertilizer is suggested
  • Testing of water to see its suitability for irrigation purpose.
  • Testing of fertilizers to study their nutrient level.

Surge in Production Level

Due to above efforts made by Agriculture Research Sindh production of all crop is enormously increased. 

Moreover, mostly the growers of Sindh look toward Tandojam for the solution of field problems. They frequently visit Tandojam for consultation regarding control of insect pests and diseases of different crops, availability of quality seeds, soil, water and fertilizer testing and information regarding new interventions.  Due to scattered research institutes of various commodities throughout Sindh growers face difficulties in getting their problems solved.

Keeping in view the farming community problems a scheme was approved to construct an Agriculture Services Complex Building with facilities of office of Director General Agriculture Research Sindh along with the offices of its staff, auditorium, meeting hall / committee room, exhibition hall, display center and advisory service center that is facilitating growers of various crops regarding identification of field problems and their solution.

Moreover, three new research institutes viz. Cotton and Sugarcane research institute Ghotki, Horticulture research institute Sukkur at Sangi, Date Palm research institute Khairpur and Establishment of dry land farming research institute at Mithi have been approved in development side.

With the passage of time the trends in agriculture research are being transformed hence the over all restructuring was made wherein the existing research institutes nomenclature was changed with updated and advanced objectives and as per innovative research requirements new research institutes have been established through implementation of 4 tier program. The promotions of scientists with change in nomenclature was also part of this program that matches with national institutes. The updated organizational set up is depicted as below:

Main objectives

  • To catalyze the evolution of high yielding, climate resilient varieties of field, fruit & vegetable crops with especial reference to drought, heat, salinity, insect, and diseases tolerance.
  • To develop improved crop production based on research experimentation, to obtain maximum yield (including doses, time and method of input application)
  • To provide advisory services to growers by:
    * Field visit
    * Soil & Water testing facilities

Infrastructure

  1. Research Institutes
  1. Cotton Research Institute, Tandojam
  2. Sugarcane Research Institute, Tandojam
  3. Oilseeds Research Institute, Tandojam
  4. Crop Sciences Research Institute, Tandojam
  5. Physiology & Biotechnology Research Institute, Tandojam
  6. Plant Diseases Research Institute, Tandojam
  7. Plant Protection Research Institute, Tandojam
  8. Soil Salinity & Reclamation Research Institute, Tandojam
  9. Soil and Environment Research Institute, Tandojam
  10. Soil Fertility Research Institute, Tandojam
  11. Communication & Information Research Institute, Tandojam
  12. Medicinal Plants & Tobacco Research Institute, Tandojam
  13. Mango Research Institute, Mirpurkhas
  14. Fruit Crops Research Institute, Mirpurkhas
  15. Orchard Nutrient Management Research Institute, Mirpurkhas
  16. Vegetable Research Institute, Mirpurkhas
  17. Floriculture Research Institute, Mirpurkhas
  18. Food Technology Research Institute, Mirpurkhas
  19. Post-Harvest Research Institute, Mirpurkhas
  20. Nematology Research Institute, Mirpurkhas
  21. Orchard Nutrient Management Research Institute, Mirpurkhas
  22. Chillies Research Institute, Kunri
  23. Banana Research Institute, Kotdeji
  24. Citrus Research Institute, Sakrand
  25. Tomatoes Research Institute, Pangrio
  26. Onion Research Institute, Husri
  27. Wheat Breeding Research Institute, Sakrand
  28. Barley & Wheat Research Institute, Tandojam
  29. Cereal Technology Research Institute, Sakrand
  30. Maize Research Institute, Dadu
  31. Best Management Research Institute, Larkano
  32. Dubari Research Institute, Larkano
  33. Bio saline Research Institute Larkano
  34. Integrated Pest Management Research Institute, Larkano
  35. Nutrition Management Research Institute, Larkano
  36. Sugar crops Research Institute, Larkano
  37. Agronomy Research Institute Dokri
  38. Rice Pests Management Research Institute, Dokri
  39. Organic Farming Research Institute, Dokri
  40. Rice Diseases Management Research Institute, Dokri
  41. Post-Harvest Research Institute, Dokri
  42. Land Management Research Institute, Dokri
  43. Communication Research Institute, Dokri
  44. Rice Economics and Planning Research Institute, Dokri
  45. Pulses Research Institute, Dokri
  46. Southern Rice Research Institute, Thatta

Research Sections at various Research Centers

  1. Rice Breeding Section, Rice Research Center, Dokri
  2. Pathology Section, Wheat Research Center, Sakrand
  3. Agronomy Section, Wheat Research Center, Sakrand
  4. Communication Section, Wheat Research Center, Sakrand
  5. Chemistry Section, Wheat Research Center, Sakrand
  6. Plant Pathology Section, Wheat Research Center, Sakrand
  7. Entomology Section, Horticulture Research Center, Mirpurkhas
  8. Statistics Section, Wheat Research Center, Sakrand
  9. Statistics Section, Horticulture Research Center, Mirpukhas
  10. Statistics Section, Agriculture Research Center, Tandojam
  11. Statistics Section, Rice Research Center, Dokri

Research Stations

  1. Jujube Research Station, Tandojam
  2. Fruit Research Station, Kot Ghulam Muhammad
  3. Agriculture Research Station, Golarchi
  4. Sugarcane Research Station, Sujawal
  5. Guava Research Station, Larkano

Research sub-stations

  1. Vegetable Research Sub-station, Husri
  2. Cotton Research Sub-station, Kotdeji
  3. Cotton Research Sub-station, Mirpurkhas
  4. Cotton research Sub-station, Sakrand
  5. Oilseeds Research Sub-station, Kotdeji
  6. Oilseeds Research Sub-station, Sakrand
  7. Oilseeds Research Sub-station, Jamra, Shikarpur
  8. Rice Research Sub-station, Jamra, Shikarpur
  9. Groundnut Research Sub-station, Sanghar
  10. Wheat Research Sub-station, Padidan

Soil and Water Testing Laboratories

  1. Soil and Water Testing Laboratory, Tandojam
  2. Soil and Water Testing Laboratory, Badin
  3. Soil and Water Testing Laboratory, Makli, Thatta
  4. Soil and Water Testing Laboratory, Mirpurkhas
  5. Soil and Water Testing Laboratory, Sanghar
  6. Soil and Water Testing Laboratory, Sakrand
  7. Soil and Water Testing Laboratory, Dadu
  8. Soil and Water Testing Laboratory, Naushehro Feroze
  9. Soil and Water Testing Laboratory, Khairpur
  10. Soil and Water Testing Laboratory, Sukkur
  11. Soil and Water Testing Laboratory, Shikarpur
  12. Soil and Water Testing Laboratory, Jacobabad
  13. Soil and Water Testing Laboratory, Karachi


New production techniques developed / introduced

  1. Wheat sowing on ridges:

After land is seeded and basal dose of fertilizer is broadcast in dry conditions, ridges are made through Ridger at 25-30 cm spacing followed by light irrigation application.  This practice saves water by 30-40% and increases yield by 15-20 %

  1. Wheat sowing on raised beds:

In this technique, seed and fertilizer are placed in drill boxes of bed planter machine.  Then machine is attached to tractor which makes two beds and prepares four lines at the space of 12 inches with equal application of seed & fertilizer.  This method of wheat sowing saves 50% water and increases 05-08% yield

  • Aerobic / drilling rice cultivation:

It is rice production technique for extreme water shortage areas.  Rice seed is sown in dry prepared soil through broadcasting or drilling followed by light irrigation; soil is kept moist till seed germination.  Afterwards, irrigation water is applied when soil moisture goes 25-30 cm down from soil surface.  It saves 25-30 % water as well as total expenses on nursery raising and transplanting.

  1. Alternate wetting & drying technique in rice:

In this technique, shallow level of irrigation water (5 cm) is kept at the time of transplanting and maintained up to 15 days.  Afterward crop should be re-irrigated when water level goes 15 cm below soil surface.  At the time of flowering, water level of 5 cm should be maintained for at least 2 weeks (1 week each before and after flowering).  This practice saves 15% water and increases 20-25% yield

  1. Direct sowing rice (DSR) on ridges

In this system, seed and basal dose of fertilizers are broadcast in dry prepared land followed by ridges preparation.  Irrigation water is applied in the furrows.  This practice saves irrigation by 12-15% and produces 18-20% more yield due to more plant population. 

  1. Multiplication of banana plantlets through tissue culture technology:

Through this technology, disease-free-banana-planting material is propagated in laboratory and hardened in green house prior to shifting main field or provided to growers. The banana orchard planted through said material is not only protected from disease spreading but it also produces higher yield.

  • Identification and quarantine of Panama wilt disease in Banana

Agriculture Research Sindh identified Panama wilt disease of Banana in district Thatta and constituted Banana working group taking all stakeholders on board to prepare strategy for its effective control.  The expert team surveyed banana fields in District Thatta, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Umarkot, Sanghar, Shaheed Benazirabad, Tando Allahyar, Matiari, Tando Muhammad Khan etc, collected fresh samples for identification of associate fungi.   It was established that this disease was able to be managed only by quarantine and sanitation of planting material and tools.

  • Identification and management of grassy shoot disease in sugarcane

A new disease appeared in sugarcane crop due to which stunted crop growth occurred, which resulted in no cane formation in severe attack.  Experts of Agriculture Research surveyed sugarcane field and identified it as grassy shoot disease.  Diagnosed disease spread mainly due to diseased seed / ratoon from affected crop; hence, growers were suggested accordingly. 

  1. Canopy management

Tall mango trees, having larger branches and causing overlapping and congestion, not only hinder sunlight and air to pass through canopy, but also make plant protection measures and harvesting difficult.  Through canopy management technique, the height of mango trees is reduced up to 25 feet, the mummified branches trimmed from sides followed by skirting to maintain proper distance between the plants as well as ground.  Under this technique, the proper care can easily be taken for better and healthy fruiting, ultimately enhances production. 

  1. High density mango planting

Through this technique, mango plants are placed at 10 x 10 feet row to row and plant to plant spacing instead of old planting practice at 40 x 40 feet spacing.  In this way, the number of plants could be increased from 25 to 43.  This technology is useful under drip and bubbler systems.  The mango variety like Dusehri is recommended for high density plantation.

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