Riverina pulse growers are sharing tips with the Pakistan industry

PULSE FOCUS: Dr Ata ur Rehman of CSU, Abdul Manan, Israr Hussain, and Tehreem Javaid project officer in Pakistan, and Professor Chris Blanchard of CSU.
PULSE FOCUS: Dr Ata ur Rehman of CSU, Abdul Manan, Israr Hussain, and Tehreem Javaid project officer in Pakistan, and Professor Chris Blanchard of CSU.

SUCCESS in growing pulses in the Riverina and southern NSW is providing insights to farmers in Pakistan.

What we have learned is how Australian farmers are managing disease, insect pests and weeds by following crop rotations.

Dr Ata-ur Rehman

The techniques for growing, selling and storing chickpeas and lentils in Wagga, Temora and Junee could soon be adopted overseas due to a new research sharing partnership. 

“What we have learned is that the production technology (in Australia) is quite different for managing diseases, inset pests and weeds,” said project leader, Charles Sturt University (CSU) senior research associate Dr Ata-ur Rehman.

There were also differences in on-farm storage systems once the crop is harvested and also the timing of when growers decided to sell the pulses. 

“This is missing in Pakistan because farmers do not have the storage facilities,” Dr Ata-ur Rehman said. 

“As soon as the crop is ready it has to go to market … even if the prices are not good.” 

This is missing in Pakistan because the farmers do not have the storage facilities, as soon as they have go for the market and the prices are not good. 

The Wagga, Pakistan work is part of a $2.3 million project to assist small landholders in Pakistan to enhance pulse production.  

The project through the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, is funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

Dr Rehman said during a period of 20 years pulse production in Pakistan had decreased.

And during this time improved cereal growing techniques had resulted in greater areas of rice and wheat being planted Pakistan.

“Pulses like chickpeas, lentils and groundnuts, or peanuts, are an important source of protein and dietary fibre,” he said. “Re-introducing these pulses into cropping systems would have nutritional, economic and environmental benefits.”

The project involves researchers from CSU, the Pakistan National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC), provincial research institutes and universities in Pakistan, Pulse Australia and Riverina farming systems group, Farmlink Research.

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