Thu, 16 Sep 2021

© Provided by Xinhua

LANZHOU, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 57-year-old Long Ruijun, a professor at Lanzhou University in northwest China's Gansu Province, turned to online lectures to help old friends in Pakistan fight energy and food shortages.

Long used to routinely visit the country from 2016 to 2019 to share agricultural techniques and skills with experts and farmers there.

"The landscape and climate in Gansu are similar to that in Pakistan, especially in the northern region," he said. "So the agricultural experience is a great reference for the South Asian country."

Due to power shortages, people living in the mountainous terrain in Pakistan usually had difficulties in lifting water to irrigate their land.

To solve the problem, Long and his team of some 40 researchers introduced in Pakistan in 2018 solar pump facilities developed in Gansu, and local agricultural experts applied the technology to the testing fields.

If the technology was popularized in the drought-hit areas of northern Pakistan, the output of crops such as wheat could be greatly improved and food security guaranteed, said Bashir Ahmad, head of the National Agricultural Research Center.

Noticing the low yield of forage in Pakistan due to poor seed quality, Long's team sent 30 kg of alfalfa and oat seeds to their counterparts in May.

The team delivered on-site lectures to train technical workers in Pakistan on plantation and agricultural processing, said Jing Xiaoping, a member of Long's team. With technical support provided by the team via livestreaming, the 30kg of seeds sprouted in the demonstration fields.

To popularize sustainable, green agricultural development, researchers from Lanzhou University have also joined hands with Pakistan Agricultural Research Council to establish a biomass energy center in Islamabad, to convert agricultural waste into biomass energy.

Long said the techniques can be widely used in Pakistan and other Asian countries facing energy shortages.

He expected to deepen cooperation with central and south Asian countries by setting up more integrated demonstration sites to enhance production efficiency, guarantee food security and improve the livelihood of local people.

"Under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, cooperation between Pakistan and China will reap more positive results in more areas," said Long.

Over 100 students from Pakistan have majored in agricultural studies from Lanzhou University, Long added.

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