(Islamabad 14th November 2019).............Variety Evaluation Committee (VEC) is a forum at PARC under Plant Sciences Division, where candidate varieties/hybrids of different field & horticultural crops are presented and their performance under different agro-ecological conditions is presented, evaluated and recommended for approval by the provincial or National Seed Councils. The seventh meeting of VEC on maize, sorghum, millet and fodder crops was held at PARC Hqs on November 14, 2019.
Chairman, PARC, Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan, inaugurated the meeting and in augural address he said that Maize is success story in Pakistan. In this meeting, Food Security Commissioner, Dr. Waseem-ul-Hassan, Mr. Nazar Iqbal, Representative from Federal Seed Certification & Registration Department (FSC&RD), Representative of Crop Life, Seed Association of Pakistan (SAP) and different seed companies also participated and presented their hybrids before VEC. A total of 17 hybrids/varieties of Maize, Lucern (Afalfa) and Sorghum Sundargrass were presented and it is highly encouraging that in Maize twelve out of 13 hybrids with yield potential ranging from 3-24% higher than the existing commercial hybrids were recommended and it is also very good news that two hybrids from public sector (MMRI, Yousafwala) were also recommended. These hybrids produced 14% higher yield than check.
Dr. Muhammad Ayub Khan, Member, PSD emphasized to introduce/develop hybrids having heat tolerance, keeping in view the yield losses occurred in Punjab and Sindh due to heat wave in Sindh. Climate change is a serious threat and we have to develop hybrids varieties tolerant against heat, moreover, planting time of the crop may also be optimized as it is done in wheat.
Dr. Waseem-ul-Hassan, Food Security Commissioner, said that bring your issues at this forum and I assure you that PARC as well as M/o. NFS&R will certainly solve your genuine problems. Crop Life as well as SAP President, Ch. Bilal Ahmad assured cooperation to maximum level. Crop Life and SAP representatives requested for the issuance of minutes of the meeting at earliest convenience. Dr. Waseem-ul-Hassan proposed that the list of hybrids/varieties may be signed by the VEC member today and distributed to all stake holders so that they can manage import of seed or local production well in time. All the members agreed, signed the list and provided to all stake holders and it was highly appreciated. Representative from FSC&RD also accepted this proposal to facilitate timely import or plant local seed production.
Chairman, PARC high lightened the role of Private Seed Sector for exponential growth of maize. He added that intercropping with legume is the need of the day to improve the soil health for sustainable maize production, Chairman, PARC also appreciated the role of PARC coordination to build the trust of people on the system in private sector in particular dedication of Coordinator, MSMF & OC, Dr. Mozammil Hussain for convening three VECs merely in 6 months. Honorable Chairman urged to use success story of maize as a role model for other crops in the country.
(Incharge PR&P, PARC)
Edited by: Muhammad Arshad Ullah