On the fifth China International Import Expo (CIIE), a new subsection for crop seeds was set up in Pavilion 1.1. In this place, we can find a lot of the newest technologies that can be introduced to Pakistan.
In the dazzling pavilion of food and agriculture, the display of verticle farming is still quite eye-catching.
The rising impact of climate change, warming temperatures and erratic rainfall patterns have increased worries among farmers. Vertical farming can be a solution to that. Different from traditional farming, vertical farming grows vegetables indoors, where multiple planting layers are stacked vertically. Artificial light sources like LED are used to provide light, and water is provided by water spray or automatic drip irrigation system, so it can achieve high yield without the influence of environmental factors.
“It takes 30 to 40 days to produce vegetables in the field, while it only takes 10 to 12 days for vertical farming. In addition, vertical farming requires 95% less water than conventional farming.” The exhibitor said.
Pakistan had been adversely affected by the impacts of climate change, so “climate-smart” farming techniques are strongly encouraged by Pakistan president Dr. Arif Alvi. “ One unit of vertical farming could be established on one kanal of land with an estimated initial investment of Rs. 2.5 million, which was quite affordable and made good business model and economic sense as return on investment was higher.” He said.
Except for the big equipment of vertical agriculture, strange products including purple cauliflower and colorful seeds are also intriguing. “The purple color is from anthocyanidin in the vegetable generated by gene modification. Anthocyanidin can help our body to resist oxidation resistance and clear free radicals. The seeds’ colors are from the seed coating materials, which can protect them from weather issues and pests.
Bayer brought short-stature corn on the CIIE this year. The exhibitor told us that this new variety is 1/3 shorter than traditional corn plants, effectively improving its wind resistance and lodging resistance, and reducing heavy losses caused by extreme weather. The short-stature corn can also be planted at shorter intervals, which can reduce water consumption and achieve a higher unit yield.
Such short-stature corn is also drought resistant, which can be suitable to be introduced to Pakistan, where corn is ranked as the third most important food crop after wheat and rice.
Advanced agricultural technologies are essential for increasing the agricultural productivity of the country. Hope the new technologies in CIIE can give Pakistan more inspiration to solve the current agricultural problems.