Norman E. Borlaug----CIMMYT----Pakistan
The Historic connections
|The story of the development of High Yielding Varieties (HYVs) in Mexico is inextricably linked to their introduction in Pakistan. These genotypes were the fruit of a vigorous, production-oriented wheat improvement program launched in 1944 by the Mexican government in collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation and headed by American wheat scientist, Dr. Norman E. Borlaug.|
|The dwarfing gene Norin was first bred and released in 1935 by the Norin research station, Japan from where it was taken by a US scientist Dr. S.C Salmon who handed it over to Dr. Orville Vogel of Washington state university, who used it in crosses at Pullman. One of Vogel’s crosses, Norin 10 x Brevor was crossed extensively with tall Mexican varieties to produce semidwarf spring wheats by Dr. Borlaug.|
The first contact thatPakistani scientists had with Borlaug came in 1960, when he toured the country as a member of a FAO-Rockefeller Foundation team. A major recommendation of this expert team was for the practical training of Pakistani scientists in wheat improvement. FAO agreed to locate candidates for training, Borlaug offered to provide training in Mexico, and the Rockefeller Foundation agreed to provide the funding.
|The first group of promising young researchers arrived for training in 1961. There was one Pakistani in the first group, Manzoor Ahmad Bajwa. He spent nine months in Mexico working alongside Borlaug and the Rockefeller research team. On his return, Bajwa Had brought back from his training program seed of many semi dwarf wheats. From this seed he had identified a medium to hard, white grain line from segregating generations of the cross 8156, Penjamo x Gabo. After uniformity and yield testing it was released for general cultivation. Though the cross was made in Mexico, line selection was made by Pakistani scientist. To commemorate this collaboration the variety was named MexiPak. With MexiPak-65, Pakistan had the high yielding wheat it needed to launch its Green Revolution in wheat production.|
In 1963, Borlaug returned to Pakistan as a guest and visited Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad. He observed that at proper fertilizer level the yields of the semi-dwarf lines were twice that of the best tall local varieties in Pakistan and as good as in the Yaqui valey of Mexico, their home half-way around the world.