ISLAMABAD (INP): Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) has developed white maize varieties. Scientists design pathway to take the maize germplasm to the clients to boost up production of maize in the country on large scale. PARC with the help of National Rural Support Programme (NRSP) was able to reach farmers in the country.
This was stated by Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad, Chairman PARC in his opening remarks on the occasion of a two-day National Maize Workshop: Annual Progress Review under Agricultural Innovation Program (AIP) for Pakistan here at local hotel in Islamabad. The workshop was organized by International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in partnership with Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC). The program was financially supported by USAID.
Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad said PARC can help Maize and Millets Research Institute (MMRI) Yousafwala to sell their maize hybrids to the clients. He said PARC-PATCO is ready to working with private companies to promote various crops in the country.
Dr. Shahid Masood, Member (Plant Sciences) PARC in his welcome address said AIP is a unique program in Pakistan and we have good production of maize in the country. He said maize is the 3rd most important crop in Pakistan.
Dr. Imtiaz Muhammad, CIMMYT presented an overview of Agricultural Innovation Program (AIP) for Pakistan and particularly on maize achievements. He said CIMMYT is committed to enhance the capacity building of scientists and production of maize in Pakistan. He said PARC has an effective coordinated system for research and development of maize. All stakeholders of maize together through this platform to develop shared objectives and priorities for enhancing maize production and productivity in Pakistan. Due to lack of elite germplasm, maize industry is facing problem in the country. CIMMYT is continuously facilitating to provide elite germplasm to increase maize production in Pakistan.
Dr. Abdul Rahman Beshir (CIMMYT) presented rationale and background of maize in Pakistan containing challenges and lack of diverse maize germplasm, 16 varieties (6 hybrids), lack of skill in varieties development and seed production, poor agricultural practices, introduction / development of biofortified maize, introduction / development maize tolerant to biotic stress, maize seed value chain. He said 9 private and 8 public maize R&D institutes are presently working with AIP maize. More than 680 maize germplsm were share. Scientists introduce 332 white and 28 yellow maize hybrids.
Dr. Mian Abdul Majid, National Coordinator (Cereal Crops) PARC said the workshop aims to review annual projects and discuss future activities with stakeholders. The event will help to develop shared objectives and priorities to boost Pakistan’s maize production and productivity. The platform is also an excellent opportunity for experience sharing and enhance synergies among public and private partners working on maize research and development at various levels in Pakistan. Dr. Muhammad Munir, Member (C&M) PARC and other senior scientists also attended the meeting and shared their views.