FAO, Haji Sons introduce modern vegetable seedling production in Balochistan
QUETTA: A 5-days’ training, including practical exercises in the field and excursions, was organized by FAO in close collaboration with Haji Sons (Royal See &Seedlings, Lahore) and the Agriculture Research Institute (ARI, Government of Balochistan) in Quetta, last week. 20 entrepreneurial female and 10 male farmers from districts Quetta, Noshki and Chagai, including some GoB extension and research staff, participated.
This training was organized within the framework of the Australia Balochistan Agri Business Programme (AusABBA), financed by The Australian Government and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, in collaboration with the Government of Balochistan.
Access to high quality vegetables seeds and seedlings were identified as essential inputs to advance the horticulture sector in Balochistan. In particular vegetable seedling production in trays, under controlled conditions has multiple advances and is instrumental to achieving higher and better quality production.
Training topics were among others; seed treatment, plant raining, substrate preparation and mixing and transplanting of seedlings in the field. Seedling production, being a relatively new activity in Balochistan, could become a typical female agri business activity own the business to generate their own income.
Women could also plant vigorous vegetable seedlings in their integrated homestead gardens and / or sell or barter trade the seedlings with their neighbours or at nearby markets.
Some of the promising results of this training were that male and female participants wanted to establish their own vegetables seedling nurseries in the Districts with the help of AusABBA and Haji sons in 2018. Another participant (Zia Garden from Quetta), who already produces seedlings, wanted to become a dealer of Haji Sons for seeds, plastic trays and peat moss in Balochistan as well as to produce more seedlings for nearby farmers.
At the end of this successful training participants expressed their hope that Haji Sons – supported by the AusABBA programme and FAO – will not only introduce their seeds and seedlings in Balochistan but will also continue to train farmers and introduce other technologies to grow their business.