USDA to continue support to improve wheat productivity
Clay Hamilton, Agriculture Counsellor (USDA) said that USA and Pakistan has long history of collaboration in agriculture and it will continue to provide support for improvement of wheat productivity in Pakistan. This he sated at inaugural session of two-day Annual Wheat Planning/ Wheat Productivity Enhancement Programme (W-PEP) meeting at NARC which was jointly organised by PARC- USDA – CIMMYT and ICARDA with the objective to review the progress make in wheat research and develop work plan for 2013-2014 here on Tuesday.
Clay showed his satisfaction over the work done in W-PEP Project aimed at developing UG-99 resistant wheat varieties, seed and better production technologies to improve wheat productivity in Pakistan. Dr Shahid Masood, Member (PSD) PARC said their co-ordinated wheat programme is one of the more successful co-ordinated programmes. Dr Imtiaz Muhammed from CIMMYT briefed the participants about W-PEP achievement during last three years in Pakistan. Under this programme, research equipments, machinery and training has been provided to Wheat Research Institutes in Pakistan. Its success included release of UG-99 wheat varieties such as NARC-2011.
Dr Abdul Majeed from ICARDA briefed about the achievements in seed and agriculture demonstrations and seed production of UG-99 resistant wheat varieties that has been done on large scale. The trials have showed that new technologies like relay cropping of wheat in cotton, ridge planting in irrigated wheat and introduction of legume in different cropping system like rice-wheat and rained cropping system can improve the wheat productivity.
Dr Muhammad Azeem Khan, DG NARC highlighted the role of seed in wheat productivity. He shared the information on different wheat seed system of Pakistan. Dr Imtiaz Hussain, Co-ordinator (Wheat) briefed about co-ordinated wheat activities in Pakistan. PARC is collaborating with 25 different wheat research institutes/ universities, in germplasm distribution, national trials for variety release, building linkages with planning meetings and seminars, and capacity buildings of scientists.
With the help of National trials, five new wheat varieties have released in 2013, this included 3 in KP and 2 in Sindh. Director General, FSC&RD also briefed the participants regarding the role of this organisation in seed provision and certification. He stressed the need for enhanced collaboration among researchers, seed sector and FSC&RD.-PR