Islamabad (October 26)………….. Wheat scientists, agronomists, plant breeders, plant pathologists and entomologists from all over the country gathered at National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC), Islamabad to attend two-day Annual Wheat Planning and Wheat Productivity Enhancement Program (AWP-WPEP) Meeting to review the progress, research and coordination, core activities of previous year and for future, and strategy of wheat production in the country.
The meeting was organized by Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) with the collaboration of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) and International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and other national partners.
Speaking on the occasion, Acting Chairman PARC, Dr. Nadeem Amjad said that this meeting will help us to re-organize and strengthen our efforts to fight hunger and malnutrition by enhancing the productivity through disseminating innovative and knowledge-based technologies. This will improve the livelihoods of the farming communities. He said that the research in wheat has enabled Pakistani farmers to increase their yields from 863 kg/ha in 1965 to 2753 kg/ha in 2016. The cropping systems in Pakistan represent the diverse and varying agro-ecological conditions. This diversity, along with its advantages is also posing a challenge to wheat researchers to make this crop not only competitive but also profitable.
He said food and water security are the real concerns for the governments around the globe. Government of Pakistan is committed to ensure adequate provision of food items through well-defined and targeted interventions to ensure food security of 200 million population. Pakistan Vision 2025 envisages food security in the context of the entire supply chain – from production, processing, storage and distribution to consumption. He said that Government’s support for agriculture is being rationalized and directed to generate and disseminate research-based scientific solutions, backed with technological innovations, for emerging and re-emerging biotic and abiotic threats that the agriculture sector is and will be facing. He said that this event will serve as a platform for exchanging information, discussing opportunities and challenges and planning joint ventures to address the emerging and re-emerging threats to wheat crop and the food security of Pakistan. On this occasion he acknowledged the continuous support of the US Government through USDA, international partners CIMMYT, ICARDA and efforts of PARC and national system wheat scientists.
Agriculture Counselor of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), David Williamaddressing on the occasion highlighted the importance of agriculture and food security in the world. Member (PSD) PARC, Dr. Ahmad Bakhsh Mahar said Pakistan is surplus in wheat production and credit goes to wheat researchers. He appreciated the efforts of National Coordinator Wheat of PARC and other wheat scientists and said wheat scientists team is most competent team in Pakistan. Addressing on the occasion CIMMYT Country Representative in Pakistan, Dr. Muhammad Imtiaz gave an update of WPEP (last five years) and Agricultural Innovation Programme (Pakistan Agronomy component achievements and new interventions in farm mechanization). Former Member (PSD)PARC, Dr. Shahid Masood said that wheat coordination programme is a model programme in PARC system. On this occasion he also appreciated the efforts of former PARC wheat scientists Dr. N. I. Hashmi, Dr. Tahir, Dr. Abdul Majeed (ICARDA) and other prominent national scientists. Dr. M. Azeem Khan, DG NARC, in vote of thanks, said future of wheat in Pakistan is very bright. National Coordinator (Wheat) Dr. Atiq-ur-Rehman Rattu highlighted wheat coordination core activities in Pakistan.
( Sardar Ghulam Mustafa ) Edited by: (MUhammad Fiaz Joyia
Director (PR&P) PARC Director (SI), NARC
Cell # 03315155661 Ph # 0301-5158970