Variety Evaluation Committee Recommends 10 High Yielding Pulses Varieties to Boost the Agricultural Production of Pakistan. "We are striving to achieve self-reliance in pulses", Chairman PARC

Islamabad: (PR&P, PARC) Variety Evaluation Committee (VEC) meeting of Pulses held at the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) concluded with the unanimous recommendation of ten high-yielding pulses varieties poised to revolutionize agriculture in Pakistan. Pulses play a crucial role in global food security and nutrition of the country. Pakistan needs 1.56 million tons of pulses annually. We have become self-sufficient in mung production during 2021-22 which was 0.263 million tons against the total requirement of 0.180 million tons. Nowthe country is focusing on increasing the production of other pulse crops, such as chickpea, lentil and mash bean. The meeting was attended by representatives from the Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department (FSC&RD), Ministry of National Food Security & Research (MNFS&R), as well as scientists from pulses research institutes across the country.

Member Plant Sciences Division (PSD), PARC, Dr. Imtiaz Hussain presided over the VEC meeting. Dr. Muhammad Mansoor, National Coordinator Food Legumes, PARC, Islamabad presented 10 candidate varieties before the committee. After detailed deliberations, VEC recommended 10 pulses varieties that included 05 chickpea and 01 mung bean variety of NIAB, Faisalabad, 01 lentil and 01 mung bean variety of Pulses Research Program, NARC, Islamabad, 01 mung bean variety by Pulses Research Institute, AARI, Faisalabad and a mung bean variety of NIFA, Peshawar.This achievement is due to the consistent backup support by PSDP, Pulses Project “Promoting Research for Productivity Enhancement in Pulses” to its research components throughout the country.

The Chairman VEC, in his concluding remarks, stated that high yielding, disease and climate resilient varieties play an important role in improving pulses productivity. However, he was of the view that as the pulses gene pool has widened, therefore, all pulses scientists across the country are urged to focus on strengthening the pulses foundation seed production i.e. BNS, Pre-basic and basic seed. Moreover, there needs to be a strong nexus among researchers and extension workers so that more seed can be produced to shrink the gap between pulses production and requirement in the country.