ISLAMABAD, Oct 26 (APP): Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Chairman Dr. Ghulam Muhammad Ali here Tuesday said that the council has started work on new breeding technologies including speed cloning, speed breeding, genomic selection, and genomic editing for the enhancement of crop production for achieving food safety and security in the country.
Briefing the Federal Secretary Ministry of National Food Security and Research Tahir Khursheed, who visited PARC, Dr. Ali said that the National Institute for Genomics and Advanced Biotechnology (NIGAB) of PARC has also started producing virus-free potato tubers locally that would help in saving foreign exchange of the country, besides increasing the output.
He said that due to disease attacks on local potato varieties, the country has to import seed potato of 8th generation from Holland, which costs millions of dollars, adding that the council was also actively involved in developing vaccines for disease prevention and epidemic control and also in selecting of superior breeds of animals using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) data for improved milk and meat productivity.
Indicating the yield potential 80 to 120 mound per acre and grain length of 8.6mm, the PARC chairman said that Green Super Rice (GSR) could be a harbinger of economic prosperity, adding that using the latest technique of genome-based breeding, NIGAB scientists, in collaboration with China, have developed these GSR lines.
Besides, he said that banana varieties of PARC like NIGAB-I & NIGAB-2 with higher productivity and shelf life were also developed, adding that these verities would help in enhancing the income of local farmers.
Speaking on the occasion, Tahir Khursheed said that the prime focus of the government was to bring a revolutionary change in the agriculture sector and urged the scientists to focus on high-quality seed varieties to boost agriculture output.
While appreciating the efforts of PARC scientists in agriculture development, the Secretary stressed the need for expanding such modern techniques in all-important research and development departments of agriculture for enhancing crop and livestock production.
He also took a keen interest in PARC’s Thar Greening Model in Umerkot, Sindh, and agricultural mechanization technologies like olive oil extraction unit, solar dryer, mobile sugarcane crusher, and groundnut digger.
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