Agriculture Education

IDA/700-PAK-10 Assignment Report Agricultural Education FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY: NOT FOR GENERAL DISTRIBUTION PAKISTAN Horticulture and Vegetable Production at the Sind Agricultural University, Tandojam by Mohamed A. S. Sakr UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION (Unesco) Paris, 1982 Serial No. FMR/ED/OPS/82/23KIDA) IDA/700-PAK-10 Assignment Report (Sakr) FMR/ED/OPS/82/231 (IDA) Paris, 22 June 1982 CONTENTS PARAGRAPHS INTRODUCTION ( 1 – 2) AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION: UNIVERSITY PROVISION AND NEEDS ( 3 – 14) Faculties 3- Central Facilities: 5- 8 (1) (2) (3) Central Library Laboratories Water and Electricity (4) 5 6 7 S University Farm 9 Faculty of Agriculture 9 Staffing 10 – 14 Department of Horticulture 10 (1) (2) (3) Staffing Buildings Equipment 11 – 13 14 (15 – 36) ACTIVITIES OF HORTICULTURAL DEPARTMENT AND ADVISER 16 – 20 Undergraduate Curricula 21 Postgraduate Curricula 22 – 29 Vegetable Crops (1) (2) (3) objectives and Methods Growing methods Seed production (4) Results 22 – 23 24 – 27 28 29 30 – 32 Student Training:- practical work and lectures 3 – 34 Staff Training Research 35 – I. INTRODUCTION 1. This report covers the activities of the Adviser in Horticulture and Vega,table Production from 14 March 1981 to 13 March 1982, within the framework of Credit Agreement No. 678, signed on 18 February 1977 between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the International Development Association as provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) under sub-contract to Unesco. 2. His functions were defined as follows:Under the direction of the
Vice-chancellor of the University and the Director of the Third Education Project in Pakistan, the Adviser, besides performing such other duties within his competence as might be assigned him, would assist the University’s Faculty of Agriculture to: a) b) Develop curricula and teaching methods for courses in horticulture ; c) Prepare courses on physiological features affecting the growth of horticultural crops, including day-length, water-stress, soil and air temperatures, fertiliser use and uptake, etc. ; d) Encourage the development and use of innovative methods for teaching horticulture; e)
Identify plant species which could be used locally for seed production; f) I I. Initiate and improve research methods in vegetable production; Prepare, within the Adviser’s field of competence, technical documents (manuals, guidelines, brochures, etc. ) to be put at the disposal of the Faculty of Agriculture. AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION: UNIVERSITY PROVISION AND NEEDS Faculties 3. The Sind Agricultural University, which developed from the Agricultural College first established at Sakrand in 1939, had in 1982, an enrolment of 1,700 students and some 200 teaching staff (not including Research Institute s taff).

It has a Division of Basic Sciences, three Faculties – Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science, and Agricultural Engineering — and a Directorate of Advanced Studies. 4. The largest faculty is that of Agriculture, with 1,252 undergraduates and 174 postgraduate students and 88 teaching staff in 1982. It has eleven departments: agronomy, botany and plant breeding, agricultural extension and short courses, agricultural chemistry, agricultural economics, entomology, horticulture, plant protection, plant pathology, statistics and English. -2-
Central Facilities (1) Central Library; 5. The Adviser considered that the Central Library, which serves the whole University, had inadequate stocks of recent reference books and periodicals, that its use could be increased if its hours of operation were extended from 7. 30 a. m. to 7. 30 p. m. , and that indexing and shelf-storage of books and other materials should be improved. (2) Laboratories : 6. A Central Laboratory, the Adviser recommended, should be established for advanced studies, suitably equipped and staffed with trained technicians.
There was a need for a central service to maintain and repair laboratory equipment and apparatus. He found numerous items to be out of service which could easily have been repaired. Laboratory assistants were needed for proper laboratory maintenance and operation, and every department should have access to laboratories suitable for practical work by students, for demonstrations and for research and experimentation by teaching staff and postgraduate students. (3) Water and Electricity: 7. The water pressure was inadequate in most laboratories, to the detriment of practical work and experimental projects.
Intermittent electrical breakdowns interfered with the conduct of laboratory experiments which required maintenance of a certain temperature, humidity and lighting. Wiring in some laboratories was inadequate. Voltage fluctuations should be stabilized by voltage regulators where sensitive apparatus was used. An emergency power, supply should be available. (4) university Farm: 8. The importance of practical training should be reflected by the development of a university farm large enough to serve all three faculties.
A committee, headed by the Vice-chancellor, should be responsible for the planning and control of the farm, with a farm manager in charge of its activities. The farm would be used primarily for training students and for experimental studies, while production of field crops, fruit and vegetables, together with apiculture and fish-farming, could support research activities. Faculty of Agriculture Staffing: 9. With 88 teaching staff for 1,426 students, the student-teacher ratio in the Faculty of Agriculture is 1:16.
This makes it difficult for teachers to teach, supervise practical training and research tasks and deal individually with students. The Adviser considered that the teacher:student ratio should be 1:10. -3- Department of Horticulture (1) Staffing 10. The Horticultural Department of the Faculty of Agriculture provides undergraduate and graduate courses in three main fields: pomology, olericulture and ornamental horticulture. The teaching staff of eight (a professor, one associate professor, four assistant professors and two lecturers) should be doubled by the addition of two associates, two assistant professors and four lecturers.
A laboratory technician and three assistants, a field assistant for the vegetable garden and a tractor driver (should the Department receive a garden tractor) should also b e provided. For the moment, the University should provide at least a laboratory technician and a field assistant. (2) Buildings (a) Laboratories : 11. The Department has two laboratories, one about 30* x 15′ and the other 60′ x 3 0′, the latter having two store rooms. Considering that this space was not enough for undergraduate practical work, the Adviser-recommended the provision of two more laboratories of 4 0′ x 25 ‘ . b) 12. Horticultural Structures: The Adviser recommended provision of: (i) a lath house of 4 0 x 8 0 ‘ for propagation and to provide proper shade for seedlings and ornamental shade plants; (ii) a greenhouse for tropical foliage plants? (iii) a growth chamber for research on environmental impact on the growth and yield of horticultural plants. If an imported growth chamber cannot b e obtained, an alternative would b e a greenhouse with humidity, light and temperature controls. (c) Post-harvest Structures: 1 3. A building is needed for preparing fruit and vegetables for marketing and torage, de-greening and fruit-curing chambers, cold storage, and preservation of fruit and vegetables. (3) Equipment 1 4. The laboratory equipment is adequate, though some items were in need of repair. Field machinery, for both garden and farm, is provided by the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering. However, the Adviser considered it would be advantageous for the Department to have a 60 hp garden tractor, with trolly and -4- other accessories, plough, cultivator, rotivator, leveller, pit-digger, driller, power sprayer, etc.
This would save time now being lost in borrowing tractors in emergencies, such as one which might arise in connection with disease and pest control. It would ease problems occurring from the shortage of labour. I II. ACTIVITIES OF HORTICULTURAL DEPARTMENT AND ADVISER 1 5. Besides advising on staffing and facilities, the Adviser co-operated with Department of Horticulture staff in a number of activities, including the revision of curricula, growing of vegetable crops, practical work, training students and staff, and research. Undergraduate Curricula 16..
Undergraduate studies in horticulture cover a period of five years, the courses being: Years 1 and 2 : Basic science (Intermediate l evel); Year 3 : General horticulture; Year 4 : Fruit and vegetable growing and ornamental horticulture ; Year 5 : Fruit and vegetable production, landscape gardening and general food technology. 1 7. The curricula in the following areas were revised. (a) Intermediate level basic science; (b) Various major field horticultural courses; (c) Agro-ecology of Sind and Baluchistan; (d) Major horticultural crops in Sind and Baluchistan; e) Problems of fruit and vegetable production in these two provinces. 18. An interim development plan was prepared for undergraduate and postgraduate studies. It was agreed that the three existing courses in plant-breeding and genetics provided an adequate scientific background in this field and that priority should now go to fruit and vegetable production. To this end, two new courses should be added so that the overall course would include: vegetable growing, vegetable production (two courses) and seed production. – 5- 19.
In vegetable growing, in addition to the existing areas of definition, classification, soil and climatic requirements, the Faculty should add rotation, green manuring and kitchen garden cultivation. The two courses in vegetable production would give time for major crops to be dealt with in greater detail and for more practical training. The area in Sind under vegetable cultivation is increasing steadily as farmers realise its value for cash crops, but the yield is still very low. This is due mainly to lack of knowledge and experience (which the agricultural extension services could provide) and a lack of good seed. 0. A course in vegetables, fruit and ornamental plant seed production should be offered. Students would learn how to collect, harvest, clean, dry, pack and store seeds and they would study seed dormancy, germination and treatment, together with methods of breeding self and cross-pollinated crops. Postgraduate Curricula 21. The present postgraduate curricula cover horticultural plant nutrition, plant propagation and fruit production (two p arts). This last should be replaced by two new courses : (a) the soil and water relations of horticultural plants; (b) temperature and water relations of horticultural plants.
Optional courses should be introduced for M. Sc. students to supply them with additional information needed in their fields of study. Options could include courses on major horticultural crops and general courses on the improvement of horticultural plants, on growth” regulators and on protected cultivation. As most research experiments on vegetables must be conducted at the Agricultural Research Institute at Mirpurkhas, 30 miles away, it was decided that priority should be given to raising vegetable crops at Malir, the university Farm,to provide the Horticultural Department with the facilities needed for research.
Vegetable Crops (1) Objectives and Methods 22. The main objectives of the Horticultural Department in growing vegetable crops were to provide practical training for staff, students and labourers; to become familiar with problems of vegetable production in Sind; to evaluate crops and varieties, and seed production. It was planned to start by using two acres in the horticultural garden for growing most of the vegetable crops for practical training, and four acres at Malir Farm for a four-year crop rotation. 2 3.
Winter vegetables, carrots, radishes, turnips, cauliflowers, spinach and beet, were grown in the garden. The local varieties were identified, evaluated, weighed and measured. Promising varieties of radish, carrot and onion could be improved by breeding. All peas and spinach were of poor quality, most of the peas being dwarf types, with an average plant height of only ten – twelve inches. – 6- The spinach varieties were prickly-seeded and, during the shortest winter days, started flowering early. The seed stalks had an extreme male-type of inflorescence.
Seed of selected suitable varieties of peas and spinach should be imported. (2) Growing Methods (a) Trailed Tomatoes; 2 4. Trailing tomatoes were tried in the open; local and imported varieties were planted and supported by iron stakes, galvanised wire and plastic string. Students and labourers were trained to tie the vines to strings, to pinch and remove auxiliary shoots and to apply fertilisers. The trial was successful, the plants standing well throughout the season and bearing -heavily. Later, owing to virus diseases on some vines, all plants were removed and burnt.
A second trial was begun in the summer, the tomato vines being shaded by luffa plants – ridge gourd (luffa acutangula) and sponge gourd (luffa aegyptica) – the small luffa fruit being edible. (b) Soil-level mulches: 2 5. Cucurbits – bitter gourd (mermodica charanta), tinda or Indian squash (citrullos vulgaris, var fistulosa), tori (luffa s p. ), cucumber and cantalope were grown- early. Seeds were planted on December 21st in hillocks on raised beds covered with clear polyethylene film to form soil-level mulches.
Two weeks later, seed emergence was observed, with a minimum temperature o f 6 C. Minimum and maximum temperatures and germination percentages were recorded. (c) Plastic tunnels: 2 6. Plastic walk-in and mini-tunnels were” made of local materials. The mini-tunnels were used for raising nursery plants and for getting tomato, pepper and egg-plant seedlings• They gave high germination percentages and well-established seedlings. The walk-in tunnels were used for trailed tomatoes and for cucumbers, temperature and humidity data being recorded. d) Crop rotation: 2 7. A site on Malir Farm was selected for growing vegetables as an intercrop on the new mango plantation and an area of four acres was prepared for a fouryear rotation. Vegetables were grown on the farm to provide training in managing a vegetable farm for profitable production, and the rotation was designed to cover the main summer and winter crops. The main factors taken into account when planning the cropping sequence were distribution of the root systems and differences in the uptake of nutrients.
All needs for seeds, fertilisers, fungicides and pesticides were estimated, and supply arrangements made, from the beginning. . 7- (3) Seed Production 2 8. Onions, cauliflowers-and spinach were grown on the farm for seed production. Good onion bulbs of two to three inches in diameter were selected, the Phulkara variety being chosen as being an early sort commercially grown on a large scale in Sind’s three main districts – Hyderabad, Tharparker and Sanghar. Snow white, an imported variety of cauliflower, was also planted for seed production.
Spinach seed was sown in two batches, that for seed production being sown early and a fortnight later another small area being sown to ensure adequate pollination. (4) Results 29. This vegetable growing gave ample scope for training staff, students and labourers. Mini-tunnels and plastic soil mulches showed possibilities of improving yields and reducing costs. The former, as noted, gave high germination percentages and well-established seedlings, while the latter produced good quality summer crops, advanced by some three to four weeks and with a 25% to 50% increase in yield, with consequent savings in water and labour.
Visitors were interested in getting information on plastic film tunnels and mulches for growing early tomatoes, egg-plants, chillies, okra, melons and gourds, which all gave high market prices. Student Training – practical work and lectures 30. The horticultural garden of about forty acres and the new fifty-acre mango plantation provided ample space for giving students practical training in fruit, vegetables and ornamental horticulture during the academic year 1981/82. Four groups, of 45 third-year general horticulture students, were split into sub-groups, each having its own assignment r e. . in the orchard or vegetable garden, weeding or thinning out, etc. Fourth-year students likewise participated in practical work in ornamental horticulture, trimming hedges and creepers, tending lawns and preparing cuttings. Fifth-year students also took part in practical work on vegetable production. 31. In the winter season, when more land is usually available for practical training and demonstration in vegetable growing, work done by third and fifth year students included: (a) different ways, of sowing seed: by scattering; in hillocks, by drilling, (b) aising and tending nursery plants, both in the open and in mini-tunnels ; (c) weeding, thinning, manuring, applying fertilisers; (d) trailing tomatoes and preparing paper p ots, plastic tunnels and mulches. -8 3 2. included: In addition, practical garden and farm work for fifth-year students (a) identification of spinach and chard seeds, learning by observation that spinach is single-seeded while chard and beet are multiple-seeded; practice in thinning; (b) recognition of spinach sex: extreme male, vegetative male, female, and identification of types of inflorescence; (c) emonstration of sexual propagation of the potato, sweet potato, dasheen and garlic;. (d) practice in cutting seed tubers into two, three or four pieces according to size and number of eyes; cutting of sweet potato vines. Staff Training 33. In-service training of the’Department’s teaching staff was carried o ut, directly or indirectly, by visits, practical work and discussions. Most staff members participated, in groups of two to four at a time, in visits to noted farms, progressive vegetable growers, agricultural research institutes, fruit and flower shows, and to seed markets, merchants and growers.
The Adviser recommended that more such visits should be made and that the University should have more transportation for this purpose. 3 4. Practical work included vegetable growing and testing, plant and seed studies, laying out crop rotations and managing day-to-day operations. Discussion topics included undergraduate and postgraduate curricula, teaching methods, laboratory and equipment needs and use, and the draft university development plan. Three topics were prepared for seminars – plastic film tunnels and mulches, rotation and inter-cropping, and vegetable crop nutrition.
A seminar was held on the first of these, attended by university staff, growers and guests. Research 35. The Adviser considered the p of one academic year inadequate for the work that the M. Sc. course should comprise – attending courses and seminars, laying out the research experiment, collecting data and information, and preparing the thesis. Chemical analysis, he noted. , had not been included in any of the eight M . Sc. experiments on vegetables carried out in the previous seven years, although four were on the use of manure and fertilisers and two on variety tests. 9- 36. Eight M. Sc. experiments were due to be conducted at Malir Farm: two on methods of carrot seed production, three on onions (two on fertiliser use and the other on spacing), two on okra (on spacing and on testing varieties) and one on manure-testing for chillies. Other experiments proposed included evaluation and improvement of the keeping qualities of local varieties of vegetables, studies on the optimum sowing dates for the main vegetable crops, and the effects on vegetable crops’ growth and yields of selected environmental factors and of manure and fertilisers.

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