Planting area of Chinese peanut varieties to reach 2,000 acres in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD   -   Planting area of Chinese peanut varieties to reach 2,000 acres in Pakistan.

Last month, farmers in Lahore received a special batch of peanut seeds. These seeds originated from Weifang in Shandong Province which is renowned for its high-quality agricultural products.

This batch of seeds is one of the new varieties developed by China-Pakistan Peanut Breeding and Promotion Programme. Pakistan’s peanut sowing season falls in May. Chinese technicians utilise internet technology to remotely monitor peanut growth for Pakistani farmers and provide guidance on field management.

In 2016, Shandong Rainbow Agriculture Polytron Technologies Inc began cultivating the Pakistani market. In 2023, they exported the first batch of original peanut seeds to Pakistan and planted about 1,000 mu (66.7 hectare) in Attock and Chakwal cities, Punjab province.

“We have experimented and planted five new peanut varieties in Pakistan through the peanut breeding and promotion project, which grows and yields well. The yields of these varieties in 2023 are twice as high as those of the local traditional varieties, which have been recognised by the local government and farmers,” said Fan Changcheng, deputy general manager of the company.

“This year, we’ll expand the trial planting area to about 2,000 mu (133.4 hectare),” He added.

Pakistan is a significant consumer of edible oil, with peanuts being one of the primary cash crops for oil production. Previously, Pakistan had low edible oil production, with some cultivation areas yielding approximately 1 ton of peanuts per hectare highlighting a significant disparity compared to China’s high oleic peanut varieties.

Imran Mahmood, who studied in China for many years and is now a technician at Rainbow Agriculture, is responsible for coordinating the peanut breeding project with Pakistan.

“Pakistan and China are close friends, and I aim to introduce China’s advanced agricultural technology to Pakistan. This project will not only boost the income of Pakistani farmers but also decrease Pakistan’s reliance on imported edible oils,” Imran stated.

Since the establishment of China-Pakistan Agricultural Cooperation Center in Weifang in March 2023, more than 10 Pakistani agricultural companies have discussed cooperation with Chinese enterprises.

They have launched a variety of cooperation projects, including peanut breeding and promotion, combined cultivation of potatoes and ginger, cotton pest control, and agricultural technology training. These initiatives aim to promote new crop varieties of peanuts, potatoes, ginger, and other crops in Pakistan.

“China has obvious advantages in crop varieties, industrial chain, technical equipment, etc., while Pakistan has advantages in land and labor. Agricultural cooperation will allow both to complement each other’s strengths, mutually benefit, and achieve win-win results,” Imran said.