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Agriculture back bone of our country’s economy: Chairman PARC

Islamabad: (Parliament Times) The annual review – 2018 of Wheat Planning & Wheat Productivity Enhancement Program (WPEP) held at National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC), Islamabad on Wednesday. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Yusuf Zafar, Chairman, PARC said that Agriculture is the largest sector of our country. “One third of our population is directly in-touched with this sector. Agriculture is the back bone of our country’s economy. He further added that over the past four decades, increased wheat productivity occurred largely due to the deployment of high-yielding cultivars and increased fertilizer use. The cropping system of Pakistan represents the diverse and varying agro-ecological conditions. This diversity, along-with its advantages, is also posing a challenge to wheat researchers to make this crop not only competitive but also profitable. He added that Wheat, Pakistan’s most important crop, is in the spotlight at National Agricultural Research Center, Islamabad. This event will help us to re-organize and strengthen our efforts to fight hunger and malnutrition by enhancing the productivity through disseminating innovative and knowledge based technologies. This will also improve the livelihoods of the farming communities”, he said. Dr. Yusuf also shared that we have certain challenges. Number of breeder is reducing and must initiate our breeding program and bring some good projects for Wheat. He also urged the scientists to must go out in the field.
Mr. Casey Bean, USDA Agriculture Counselor, while addressing to the participants said that USDA is very keen upon development of agriculture sector and is taking various steps to enhance production of agriculture sector in Pakistan. Our organization is very much focusing on farmer’s livelihood uplift. He was very pleased to know that Wheat Scientists from across Pakistan are gathered here in the Wheat Planning Meeting. Agricultural Scientists are direly needed to share their knowledge, experience and expertise which will provide important insights on strengthening national research coordination system. He also said that this will surely serve as a platform for exchanging information, discussing opportunities and challenges and planning joint ventures to address the emerging and re-emerging threats to wheat crop and the food security in Pakistan.
Dr. Anjum Ali, Member (Plant Sciences), PARC said at this occasion that we have to work very hard to implement new technology based research results to our fields. We have to take serious steps towards knowledge based research and should provide all basis needs to achieve our goals. He said that I hope that by sharing knowledge and experience fruitful outcomes will be achieved from this event. Out future of food security and economic growth depends on scientific innovation and strong linkages, both nationally and internationally. WPEP’s goal is to protect and enhance wheat productivity, with particular attention to wheat rusts
Dr. Muhammad Imtiaz CIMMYT- CR said that because a wheat-rust epidemic would threaten Pakistan’s food security, USDA is supporting efforts to strengthen Pakistan’s wheat-rust surveillance efforts, enhance collaboration with international researchers, and improving breeding methods and testing. Wheat Productivity Enhancement Program (WPEP) supported our national efforts to enhance the sustained productivity of wheat through the application of science. Through this event, Wheat Scientists will have comprehensive deliberations and come up with a multidimensional plan to boost wheat productivity in the country. Dr. Nadeem Amjad, DG, Agriculture Eng. Division (AED), PARC paid vote of thanks to all the participants of the program.

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