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Pakistan: Cucumber growers shift to tunnels to meet growing demand

Pakistan is an agricultural country, whose national budget fundamentally depends upon agriculture products. It is the 2nd biggest segment consuming more than 21 percent GDP and assimilates 45 percent of employees in the state. About 62% of the nation's people exist in country side regions and specifically depend upon agricultural science. This part is a real provider of incomes and contributes a lot to the downstream businesses and trade of Pakistan. It is a vital source of modern items like compound manures, insecticides, tractors and farm equipment. There is a serious necessity to develop crop production to meet the proper climatic and environmental condition, which are best suited for agricultural and horticultural products. Mostly cash crops are cultivated in Pakistan however development of vegetables is really profitable and a helpful project because of their fresh utilization and higher costs. Vegetables are little time crops and expended in different structures like tubers, leaves, blossoms and products of the soil. Vegetables are rich in supplements and strands are utilized both cooked and raw.

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) belongs to the family cucurbitaceae, which is the highest group among the vegetables. It contains 90 genera and 750 species. It is a creeping vine that stands cylindrical shaped fruits that are used as eating vegetables. There are three standard varieties of cucumber: slicing, pickling, and burpless. Its adaptation from dry to humid tropic situations makes cucumber a global crop. Asia and Africa are typical sources where it has been cultivated for 3000 years. The delicate fruits of cucumber are utilized as salad, which is a good appetizer, diuretic and promotes discharging of urine.

Pickling cucumbers are little sized cucumbers fundamentally utilized for pickling purpose, they are harsh in taste and with great acidic quality. Cutting cucumber are utilized as fresh salad. Their fruit size are lengthier in size. European cucumbers are appropriate for greenhouse and tunnel farming they have longer tree grown fruits but are adverse in taste. The Beit alpha variety (also known as Persian) is an Israeli improvement whose plants are generally or wholly parthenocarpic and did not need cross-pollination. They have an excellent taste and little bitterness. They are appropriate for the pickling industry because of their short length and strong core, and their delicate taste. YousafF1 is an extremely popular cultivar by Syngenta, which has better tolerance to low temperatures and disease resistant with greater yield.

Production and consumption of cucumber is increasing in Pakistan. Growing of cucumber in tunnels has become famous among farmers to fulfil the growing demand in the country. On the other hand universities are also playing a major role for enhancing quality and quantity of this crop along with selecting the best suited varieties to the local conditions of Pakistan.

By Dr. Rashad Mukhtar Balal, Dr. Gulzar Akhtar, Muhammad Wajid Khan, Dr. Ahsan Akram

For more information:
Dr. Gulzar Akhtar (e-mail)
Assistant Professor (IPFP)
Department of Horticulture
University College of Agriculture
University of Sargodha
Punjab, Pakistan

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