May 2, 2021 at 5:53 pm
Chitral Times Report
ISLAMABAD: In order to carter for the food security requirements of the country, a meeting was held between Dr. Tahkur Prasad Tiwari, Country Representative CIMMYT- Pakistan and Syed Fakhar Imam, Minister for National Food Security and Research in the committee room of the MNFS&R on 30th April 2021 at 10:00 A.M. In the general discussion, it was mentioned that CIMMYT established in 1966 and has set-ups in 15 regional countries including Pakistan and is willing to extend cooperation to boost the existing productivity level of wheat crop through provision of elite wheat germplasm along with innovative technology package.
It was highlighted that certified wheat seed replacement rate in Pakistan must be increased from the existing 18 percent to 30 percent each year to enhance productivity. Similarly, it was also reiterated that supply of Foundation ( Pre Basic & Basic ) seed is also critical to materialize the potential of the newly introduced germplasm. The Minister responded that since last year, the Government is providing subsidized certified seed to the farming community in order to increase the national wheat average from existing 28-29 monds (40Kg)/acre to a higher level. Mr. T.P Tiwari informed that CIMMYT is extending an assistance package of USD 2 million to Pakistan.
The Minister commented that the bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and CIMMYT must continue and perhaps to a higher level. The Minister said that during year 2020 around 513,000 MT certified wheat seed was made available for sowing through a system of track and traceability for the first time in the history of Pakistan. A system of track and traceability of certified wheat seed across the entire wheat seed supply chain was put in place in August 2020. This has led to a qualitative difference with respect to upgrade seed quality. For cotton crop 2021-22, around 42,000 MT quality certified seed hasbeen made available for sowing again with same system of Track andTraceability. The ministry, as a policy is introducing the system of track and traceability for all other crops in coming two to three crop seasons. Mr. Tiwari requested to the Minister for a virtual meeting with Mr. MartinKropff, Director General, CIMMYT with headquarter in Mexico in order to further discuss and enhance cooperation between Pakistan and CIMMYT from wheat and maize to some other crops as well. The meeting ended with a vote of thanks to and from the Minister for NFS&R.