Purpose - Yields of vegetables per unit area are relatively low in Pakistan. Vegetables like okra, tomato, cucumber and chilies etc are the leading vegetable crops of Pakistan. Being the diet of vast majority of people, these occupy central position in agricultural policies. There is need to increase the production of these vegetables substantially by using non-conventional approaches. The use of calcium carbide (CaC2) based formulation could be an innovative approach for enhancing vegetable yields and quality. This project is being focused on effective use of formulated CaC2 to increase yields and fertilizer use efficiency of vegetable crops.
Design/methodology/approach – We project have so far investigated and developed appropriate formulation/coating, rate and time of application of CaC2 through the project funded by HEC. Experiments were conducted in incubator, laboratory, growth room, tunnels and farmer’s field on okra, tomato, cucumber, pepper and chili. Effect of calcium CaC2 was recorded on seed germination, seedling vigor, flower bud initiation time, number of flowers, fruit setting and fruit yield. This innovative technology is ready to transfer for general use particularly for vegetables grown under tunnels. Moreover, technology is made farmers friendly and cost-effective by evaluating different possible formulations.
Findings –The results obtained are very encouraging and increased the yield of vegetables (okra, tomato, cucumber, chili and sweet pepper) more than 30%. Besides this there was also increase in fertilizer use efficiency and quality of vegetables.
Originality/value – This project deals with improving growth and yield of vegetables through innovative and non-conventional approach. The results of trails demonstrate the validity of this approach / technology to promote yield of vegetable crops. Now this technology is ready to use at farmer’s fields.