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HYDERABAD: The agriculture extension department still has to go a long way in disseminating knowledge about sustainable agricultural practices among farmers to enable them to enhance productivity, says a study on sustainable agricultural practices in Sindh.

Mohammad Ismail Kumbhar, a PhD scholar, who presented findings of his study at a seminar at the Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam, on Monday, said the role of agriculture extension department so far had not been so effective.

He said the study recommended additional programmes for spreading knowledge about sustainable agricultural concepts, which should focus Integrated Plant Nutrient Management System (IPNMS), effective micro-organism technologies, fish farming, mulch technology, and waste management practices. He laid stress on water conservation and suggested residual water in paddy fields should be used for fish farming. Inter-cropping should be promoted and farmyard manure should be used for increasing soil fertility, which would help achieve agricultural sustainability, he said.

He advised the ministry of food security and research to launch a program on sustainable agriculture, food security and productivity enhancement. The Sindh government should induct women farmers as extension service agent to interact with women peasantry, he said.

Mr Kumbhar emphasised the need for developing a strong linkage between the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council, Sindh Agriculture University and other research institutes to help farming community arm itself with the latest developments in farming practices.

He said that farmers, field assistants and agriculture department officers should be educated and sent abroad for training and exposure.

The study recommended that agricultural extension system should be used as an integrated model of sustainable agriculture development. It should concentrate on needs of farmers’ families, youth and rural women, it said.