Inoculation Approach to Legume Crops and Their Production Assessment in Pakistan - A Review
In Pakistan the legumes are grown mostly in rain-fed areas of marginal lands where soil fertility and native rhizobial populations are low. The result is lower yield of legumes compared with other countries. The experiments carried out by the scientists of National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC), Islamabad and other research institutes, have shown significant yield increases of legumes by inoculation with appropriate rhizobium strains. In these experiments the highest yield increase was noted in case of soybean ranging 30-196 percent. Yield increase of chickpea and peas was generally in the range of 20-40 percent, whereas increase in case of other food legumes i.e., lentil, mung and mash was 10-20 percent. Although these yield increases are quite reasonable, the adoption of inoculant is almost negligible, not increasing beyond 20,000 ha per annum. The demand from farmers has not increased. The farmers and field workers are needed to be educated with the technology in order to enhance use of inoculants. The inoculant production in the country is far below than required but it could be easily increased many fold provided its demand is created. Also, field worker/farmers are not properly educated in their use. There is a strong need for the private sector to develop large-scale production facilities and supply of proper rhizobial inoculants for the various legumes grown in Pakistan.
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