Modern practices adopted by the potatoes growers of Kasur district in Pakistan have increased their average per acre yield by almost 20 percent, reduced their cost of production, and cut down the use of water by almost five percent compared to conventional farming practices.
This was brought about by a Sustainable Farming Project (SFP) initiated by PepsiCo in the region in 2015 and which is still continuing. The project enabled them to adopt advanced technology for agriculture, helping them to earn more.
PepsiCo Pakistan Head of Agronomy Zahid Saleem said during a road show to sensitise the farmers about the achievements and to display the benefits of modern techniques in potato growing.
A large number of farmers who participate in the company’s network under contract were invited where lessons learned from sustainable farming techniques were revised and future targets were explained.
The SFP is a global initiative launched by Pepsico, where it engages with farmers from whom it sources directly, and provides education on field agronomy, fertilisers, irrigation, plant protection techniques and new technologies.
Zahid Saleem said with the adoption of modern techniques farmers’ productivity increased by up to 20 percent, while they were able to conserve up to five percent of water. However, there was still huge potential to reduce water consumption of potato crops, he said.
Explaining the future targets to the potato growers on its network, he said the company would not continue business with those partners who do not follow the SFP guidelines.