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Variety Evaluation Committee (VEC) on Maize, Sorghum, Fodder and Other Cereals recommended 38 new varieties for commercial cultivation in Pakistan

Islamabad (30th August 2019)…… Thirty Three (33) Maize Hybrids, Two (02) Pearl Millet (fodder), Two (02) Sorghum Sudan Grass, One (01) Sorghum hybrid have been recommended for commercial cultivation in Pakistan by the Variety Evaluation Committee (VEC) on Maize, Sorghum, Millet, Fodder and other cereals in a meeting held at Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC), HQs, Islamabad.

During the meeting, Dr. Umer Farooq, Chairman, PARC enlightened the role of PARC in the process of variety evaluation and its release. He also emphasized the role of legislation and stable performance of hybrids in the diversified agro-ecological zones. Chairman, PARC also appreciated the role of PARC coordination and the increasing trust of people on the system. Honorable Chairman urged the importance of self-sufficiency in local seed production to reduce the huge import volume of seed.

Dr. Abdul Ghafoor, Member, (Plant Sciences), PARC chaired the VEC meeting. Meeting was attended by technical members from NARS system and private seed companies. While presiding over the meeting, Member (PSD), PARC/ Chairman VEC appreciated the emerging trend of local research and development of private seed companies in the country in seed sector. He enlightened the aim of the VEC for providing quality hybrid to every maize grower. Crop Life companies viz; Monsanto, Syngenta and Pioneer presented 01, 02 and 03 hybrids respectively against Local Companies who presented 42 hybrids while Public sector presented 1 hybrid. 10 hybrids from the local companies were however not recommended because of their low performance/ procedural deficiencies. Discussion by the Govt. high officials was held during the meeting to address the problems in seed production, approval, release and marketing in the country. General issues related to Adaptability/ National Uniform Yield Trials were also discussed in detail in the meeting. Overall 48 proposals were thoroughly examined and 38 were allowed for enlisting with Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department (FSC&RD).

Members of VEC also appreciated the role of private seed companies, PARC and Coordinator in particular for convening 2nd VEC in this calendar year and appreciated his interest in research and development and working relations and close collaboration with private and public sectors.

(Hasan Sajjad)
Incharge (PR&P), PARC
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