ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) has recommended as many as eight (8) high-yielding maize varieties for cultivation in various ecologies. The recommendation would be forwarded to Seed Council for final approval followed by multiplication and distribution among the farmers.
In total eleven (11) proposals were presented in the Variety Evaluation Committee (VEC) meeting held under the Chairmanship of PARC Member Plant Sciences Division, Dr. Shahid Masood of PARC.
These varieties included ten (10) hybrid varieties and one (1) Open-Pollinated (OP) variety, out of which the committee recommended eight varieties to be forwarded to Seed Council while rejecting two others.
Giving details about the newly recommended maize hybrid varieties, National Coordinator Cereal System PARC, Dr. Mian Abdul Majeed said that these include P3164W, P3939(X40C245), CS-2Y10 (Yellow), CS-200, CS220, GR-0702W (Nagina White Maize) ,SC539, EV-3001 (Islamabad Gold).
He said that it was the first-ever meeting of the VEC on maize since the commencement of PARC coordination system and requested the members to adopt general and soft criteria for evaluation of proposals.
On the occasion, Chairman VEC Dr. Shahid Masood directed the Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department (FSC7RD) to formulate the sub-committee in consultation with National Coordinator Cereal System PARC to devise the Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) for maize (hybrid and OP varieties) to use in maize VEC meetings in future.
Speaking on the occasion, Commissioner Food Security, Muhammad Aslam Gill while commenting on the criteria said that only those varieties should be recommended that are high-yielding, disease-resistant and have the ability to perform better in diversified environment.
He said that the companies must transfer the benefits to maize growers, which they get through freight or import of hybrid seeds form countries like Mexico, India and Thailand.
Director CDRI, NARC Dr. Anjum Munir said that there must be check on import of hybrids to avoid spread of seed born disease and advised that seeds must be treated with recommended fungicides before sending to National Coordinator for NUYT studies.
Meanwhile, Representative of AIP CIMMYT, Dr. Abdurehman suggested that for authenticity of adaptability trials data spot examination of the crop should be carried out regularly.
Meanwhile, Chairman PARC, Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad lauded the efforts of the scientists and other stakeholders for introducing new rice varieties and expressed the hope that the new varieties would help farmers to boost crop production and raise their incomes.