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PARC Committed to build up Sugar Crops Research and Development in the Country: Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan, Chairman PARC

Islamabad (25-26th August 2020)..................... A two days R&D Planning Annual Sugar Crops Research Review meeting was held at National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) Islamabad on July 25-26, 2020. Mr. Inayatullah Khan, Secretary General, Pakistan Sugar Mills Association Islamabad, Dr. Shahid Afghan, CEO, Punjab Sugarcane Research & Development Board Faisalabad and representative of Agriculture Extension & Research Departments were also participants of the meeting.

Speaking to the participants, Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan, Chairman, PARC in his inaugural remarks expressed that PARC working to raise sugarcane yield, improve efficiency of inputs and promote sustainable production. Dr. Azeem also said that Sugarcane is multidimensional crop, food, feed and energy and PARC is committed to strengthen the sugar crops research and development in the country through human resource development and allied facilities. Dr. Azeem Khan stressed the need for mechanising the agriculture sector and adopting modern agricultural practices to raise productivity. He also added that public private partnership needs to establish for new varieties and technologies development and promotion. PBR (Plant Breeder rights) should be followed for sugarcane varieties to benefit the breeders. In this case, NIGAB team may support for training of patent development and approval along-with PBR system that will also help to develop basic, pre-basic and certified seed.

Dr. Shahid Afghan, CEO, Sugarcane Research & Development Board (SRBD) Punjab detailed presentation on SRDB activities & plans regarding sugarcane promotion. Sugarcane planters will improve 30% yield with optimum seed rate hence inclusion in the project subsidy program is important. Development of Local complete breeding program will be of great help for sugarcane industry.

Representatives from different Sugar Mills especially, Mr. Inayatullah Khan, Secretary General, Pakistan Sugar Mills Association assured full cooperation in promotion of all R&D activities under PM Agriculture Emergency Program (Productivity Enhancement of Sugarcane).

Dr. Naeem Ahmed, Director, Sugarcane Research Institute, AARI, Faisalabad informed that proportionate increase in yield is much higher (85%) while in area only by 5.65%  in past 20 year. He was also of the view that climate change posed a serious threat to the agriculture sector and needs to make combined efforts to address the issue.

Dr. Abdul Nasir Malik, Agri. Extension, KPK proposed that Chip budding seed technology is very important and demonstrated & provided 115 chip bud machines to farmers. Dr. Nasir also stated that timely seed sowing and fair usage of fertilizer were prerequisites to enhancing the agricultural yield and these measures were imperative to enhance the productivity.

In the concluding session, participants from different research & agri. extension departments also shared their work plan for 2020-21 and achievements for 2019-20. Dr. Ghulam Muhammad Ali, Member (PSD) PARC being Chief Guest of concluding session recognized the role of service providers in mechanized farming in the country.  Dr. Ali also told that under the challenging global climatic conditions, Sugarcane breeders needs to chalk out their varieties development strategy in accordance with less water requirements, tolerant to insect & pest along-with high yield potential.

(Ghulam Shabbir Mirza)
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