PARC Kicked off Annual Wheat Planning Meeting

Islamabad:PARC has launched its two days 22-23 September, 2020 Annual Wheat Planning Meeting at NARC. Minister National Food Security and Research, Sayed Fakhar Imam was the Chief guest of the event. Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan, Chairman, PARC, Scientists from all over the country related to the Wheat research / extension were the participants at the opening session. It was mainly to discuss the wheat projects’ progress and future prospects in varietal development.

Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for Food Security while regarding the positive endeavor of PARC towards sustainable wheat production said, being in ten major wheat producing countries, Pakistan should have now become hub of agro economy however, this year’s wheat crop was more susceptible to rust disease due to adverse impacts of climate change hence, fell off in wheat production occur and 1.5 million tons of wheat was being imported. He further directed to set out to identify disease resistant, high yielding varieties of wheat. He emphasized that we are facing channels of climate changes, input costs, the competition in cost of production as compare to the world and disease like rust. The Federal Minister also added to increase the per acre yield is remain static as compared to the neighboring countries therefore, we are needed to increase yield per acre to meet the future requirements.

Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan while giving opening remarks at inaugural session said that amid this covid-19 crises Pakistan has yet to mull over the ongoing wheat crises as it is a basic need of the people. PARC has identified 18 new wheat varieties so far recently, Markaz-2019 and AZRC-DERA another disease free developed varieties introduced by PARC scientists. Chairman PARC also stressed the Scientists to avail this opportunity in the form of funds and through this meeting consolidated outcome should come which can help and guide the policy makers to streamline all the matters related to narrow this yield gap. Dr. Azeem also motivated the scientists to enhance Breeder Nucleus Stock (BNS) and protection of their varieties will be ensured through Plant Breeder Rights.

Dr. Ghulam Muhammad Ali, Member Plant Sciences, PARC expressed upon the varietal development of disease free wheat considering the changing environment conditions, advanced technology and recent stresses in wheat crop. Our focus should be on promoting high technology research in agriculture akin to globally developed countries whereas, speed breeding and smart greenhouse technologies, collaborating with national and international level are some of the necessities. He also urged to use new advance technique of genomic studies & breeding by crossing resistant varieties with high yield.

Syed Shamim ul Sibtain Shah, Director General, NARC shared that due to increasing population the productivity of wheat crop has not sufficiently met the needs of people and it is necessary to enhance domestic agricultural production.

National Coordinator Wheat, Dr. Attiq ur Rehman Rattu at concluding session discussed Seed Mechanization of germplasm distribution of Wheat varieties in detail in which identification of local and new resources of diverse germplasm. The availability of newly developed varieties and delisting of old susceptible varieties were also shared by Dr. Rattu. He also paid vote of thanks to the participants of the Annual Wheat Planning Meeting.

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