Enhancing wheat production: Pakistan Agricultural Research Council role highlighted

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) is playing its tremendous role for enhancing sustainable wheat production in collaboration with provincial agricultural institutions.

Chairman, PARC, Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad while inaugurating two day meeting on “Annual Wheat Productivity Enhancement Program (W-PEP) meeting” stated here at the National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC).

PARC Coordinated Wheat Programme at NARC has planned this two day this meeting in collaboration with international donor agencies USDA , CIMMYT, ICARDA and MoST at the NARC which begins today October, 5. About 80 scientists including breeders, pathologists, agronomists, extension and seed specialists from international, provincial and Federal organizations are participating in this meeting.

PARC has developed strong linkages between national and international crop research institutes, to exchange crop germplasm to breeders in the country. Through this mechanism high yielding potential and disease resistant are improved. To maintain genetic diversity, a number of yield trials/nurseries and segregating populations are acquired and distributed every year to 20-25 provincial and federal cooperators in the country.

Dr. Iftikhar said that in fact wheat is a back bone of our economy and it is the most essential commodity for national food security. He said that the production during the year 2010-11 was 24.2 million tones (Rs.575 billion in monetary terms) which is the record production the history of the country.

Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad said that provincial collaborative role in coordinating these research activities is the key role of the PARC. This is obvious that in future we will face more challenges in the form of different biotic and abiotic stresses and we need concerted efforts and strong support to the research systems to meet these challenges and sustain the wheat production in the country, he added.

Earlier, United States Development of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Counsellor Richard Todd Drennan, Dr. Rick Ward, CIMMYT Country Liaison Officer for Pakistan, Global Wheat Program, Dr. Yaqoob Mujahid, Coordinator Wheat, NARC, Dr. Abdul Majid, ICARDA, Dr. Akbar Shah, Senior Director, Crop Sciences Institute, NARC also addressed the inaugural session.

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