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Plant Genetic Resources Program

Pakistan is a country blessed with rich diversity in geography, altitude, soil, climate and culture. Russian scientist Nikolai Vavilov and the U.S. scientist Jack Harlan, through their extensive research, identified eight centers of diversity for crop plants in the world. Pakistan is placed in Central Asiatic Center and it neighbors Indian Center. Being at the junction of two important centers of diversity and acting as crossroad for international migrations has made Pakistan rich in flora and fauna. It is estimated that there are about six thousand species of higher plants in Pakistan. There are about four hundred endemic species and four endemic genera. The excavations of ancient civilizations of Mohanjo Daro, Harappa and Taxila revealed much about the origin of agriculture for the Indian subcontinent. Many crops including wheat, barley, rice, cotton and sesame were discovered to have been under cultivation in the ancient times.

The replacement of traditional crop varieties with improved cultivars during twentieth century was resulting loss of oldcrop varieties. These traditional crop varieties or plant genetic resources have many characters that can help to develop high yielding varieties that are tolerant to biotic and abiotic stresses in future. It makes them an important asset for sustainable agriculture and food security. When the threat of extinction of traditional crop varieties was felt in the world, several countries started the conservation and research of plant genetic resources. Awareness about the conservation of plant genetic resources grew due to international efforts as a result of which systematic collection and conservation of plant genetic resources started in Pakistan in 1970s as a collaborative effort of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council and international organizations. Plant Genetic Resources Institute (PGRI) was established in 1993 through technical cooperation from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). 


  • Explore and collect Agro-Biodiversity from Diverse Ecologies.
  • Serve as the National Facility for Conservation and Distribution of PGR to Researchers.
  • Characterize and Evaluate Germplasm for Improving Agricultural Productivity to Ensure Food Security.
  • Document/disseminate information on Genetic Resources.
  • Generate Knowledge and Create Awareness about Plant Biodiversity.


Back to Bio-Resources Conservation Institute ]

Resource Person:

Dr. Asif Javaid, PSO/ PL   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




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