Inaugurating the Latest Aeroponics Technology for Potato Seed at NARC Islamabad
- Aeroponic technology is important for Pakistan and Pakistan can achieve self-sufficiency in potato seed. Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Chaudhry Tariq Bashir Cheema
- The third aeroponics greenhouse was prepared at a cost of 290,000 dollars in just thirty-six days. Korean Ambassador Mr. Suh Sangpyo
- Pakistan spends eight billion rupees annually on the import of potato seeds. Chairman PARC Dr. Ghulam Mohammad Ali
The third latest aeroponic green house for production of virus free seed potatoes has been inaugurated in Pakistan at the National Agricultural Research Center (NARC) in collaboration with the Korean Program on International Agricultural (KOPIA).
Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Chaudhry Tariq Bashir Cheema, Ambassador of South Korea, H.E. Mr. Suh Sangpyo, Chairman, PARC Dr. Ghulam Muhammad Ali and Dr. Cho Gyoung-rae, Director, KOPIA Pakistan Center and inaugurated the event.
On this occasion, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Chaudhry Tariq Basheer Cheema said that Government of Pakistan is grateful to the Korean government for the transfer of latest aeroponics technology to Pakistan and the training of scientists. He said that heavy rains and floods in the country have caused a loss of 30 billion US dollars to Pakistan's agriculture. Agriculture is the guarantee of prosperity in Pakistan. The agriculture is the guarantee of prosperity in Pakistan, but the sector is facing numerous challenges such as supply of quality seeds and climate change. It is that potato is fourth most important and cash-generating crop, but due to the lack of good quality seeds, it is facing problems like reduction in production. In Pakistan, potatoes are cultivated on an area of 300,000 hectares, while 20,000 tons of potato seeds are imported into Pakistan every year.
On this occasion, Korean Ambassador Excellency Mr. Suh Sangpyo said that Pakistan and Korea are promoting cooperation in the field of agriculture and the transfer of aeroponics technology to Pakistan through the Korean Program on International Agriculture is also a link in this chain. In order to ensure food security, large quantities of agricultural commodities have to be imported,for which valuable foreign exchange is spent, the aeroponic seed potato technology project is important for Pakistan and by eliminating the import of potato seeds through this project. This will be a step towards self-reliance in local potato seed production.
Dr. Ghulam Muhammad Ali, Chairman PARC said that in collaboration with the Korean government technical cooperation flagship project, potato seed production through aeroponic technology, post-harvest reduction in aflatoxin in chili and quality fodder production for livestock are being implemented successfully in the country. Dr. Ali, while talking about the project of potato seed through aeroponic technology, said that eight billion rupees are being spent annually on the import of potato seed in Pakistan. While only one percent of potato seed is produced locally. He said that with the help of aeroponic technology, Pakistan will become self-sufficient in the production of potato seeds in the next few years and valuable foreign exchange can be saved. On the occasion, the Director of Korean Program on International Agricultural in Pakistan, Dr. Chugyank Ray, gave a detailed briefing and said that state of the art 3rd aeroponic greenhouse has been setup in record thirty-six days with 290,00 US dollars at NARC. In the greenhouse 4500 plants have been shifted and it has the capacity of growing 9200 plants. He further said that for self-sufficiency in potato seed in Pakistan one more project has been approved by Korean Government through which 840,000 ton virus free potato seed could be produced locally.
Honourable Chaudhry Tariq Bashir Cheema, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research and H.E. Mr. Suh Sangpyo, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Pakistan unveiled the plaque of aeroponic greenhouse complex at National Agricultural Research Centre, Islamabad.