ISLAMABAD, MAR 3 – Conventional agricultural practice is not only a laborious and time consuming process but also cause low yield and post harvest losses. To cope the challenges in mechanization of agriculture, Chairman PARC Dr. Azeem Khan arranged a field demonstration of mechanical pruner in presence of honourable Federal Minister for M/o National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam on March 1, 2021 at Citrus Orchard of NARC.
DG NARC, Engr. Shamimul Sibtain Shah and other high officials also joined the field demonstration.
This was a single arm pruner, having five saw disc cutters on it. The pruner machine mounted on an 85-hp tractor is delivered to Agricultural Engineering Institute (AEI), NARC by Agricultural Mechanization Research Institute (AMRI), Multan on the request of Chairman, PARC for demonstration purpose. The machine is tractor front-mounted and is operated by hydraulic pump and motors operated by tractor PTO shaft. It can prune all kinds of orchards like;apple, apricot, cherry, olives,mango, citrus, guava and peach up to 20 feet height with 120-150 trees per hour, depending upon the canopy load. The tractor consumes 7-8 liters diesel per hour while operating this machine.
At the occasion Fakhar Imam expressed his views “Like in socio-economic development sectors the most important factor for agronomists, agricultural scientists, researchers and farmers is to seek technological transformation in agriculture. How farmer can pace with the fast going and growing world is the key question for scientists. As compare to neighboring countries like China, Pakistani farmers are slow in technology adoption process. However, PARC interventions in technological transformation is laudable in this regards”.
Dr. Azeem while highlighting the importance of machine told, ‘this mechanical pruner is very useful for managing and training the orchard canopies. The unproductive branches are pruned so new branches start to grow on time, which will bring more fruit next season. Furthermore, aeration and sunlight in the inner canopy is another reason for obtaining maximum fruits from orchards. Suitable time for mechanical orchard pruning is December-January i.e. before flowering stage. He further told that the local fabrication of this machine has been started at Multan because the imported machine is very expensive.