Maize in the Rainfed Areas of Pakistan: An Analysis for Production Sustainability
Habib Iqbal Javed and
Sajjad-UR- Rehman Additional contact information Habib Iqbal Javed: National Agricultural Research Centre, (NARC), Islamabad.
Sajjad-UR- Rehman: National Agricultural Research Centre, (NARC), Islamabad.
The turning issue in agriculture of this era is sustainability and self reliance. There are several definitions of sustainability described by various scientists. Broadly, it means that the improvement in agriculture should be long lasting in view of changing environmental and socio-economic conditions. The high yielding technology available today is not fully adopted because of high cost and changing price structure of the important inputs. Under the present circumstances, the need arises to tailor the production practices according to the need of the farmers for long-term adoption. Sustainable agricultural systems are those that rely on lower inputs of energy and agricultural chemicals to achieve long-term productivity and environmental compatibility. However, Balanos (1998) concludes that the low input systems are low in productivity. Firebaugh (1990) mentioned the proposals given by J.F. Pars and colleagues that the ultimate target of the farmers in sustainable agriculture is to increase productivity and profitability. He also added that we should get benefit from germplasm which can survive over a long period of time. Maize, the major crop of the rainfed areas during summer season, is consumed as food, fodder and feed and have so many industrial uses. The scientists have been trying to search ways for enhanced production of maize under rainfed conditions. Reeves (1997) endorsed the findings of Pinstup-Anderson and Pandya-Lorch that the application of the results of agricultural research in the world is meant for enhanced food production, higher yields with reduced risks, lower production costs and ultimately for lower food prices which have benefited both rural and urban poor people.