“MRLs and Aflatoxin Biocontrol Training”

A Training workshop “MRLs and Aflatoxin Biocontrol Training” was jointly organized by FQSRI, PARC-SARC and CABI Regional Bioscience Centre Pakistan under a USAID/USDA funded project “Regulatory Harmonization in Pakistan for MRLs and Biopesticides” in Karachi on 23rd June 2022.

The training was presided over by Dr. Zakir Hussain Dahri, Director General, PARC-SARC, Karachi. Mr. Parwaiz Ahmed Baloch, Director FQSRI welcomed all participants and wished to get benefit from the subject training. He informed that three important research institutes of PARC i.e. CDRI, NARC, Islamabad, FQSRI, PARC-SARC, Karachi and PARC-AZRC, Umerkot were part of activities in labs and farmer fields.

Dr. Atif Jamal PSO, CDRI, NARC, Islamabad highlighted the occurrence of aflatoxin and its harmful effects on human and animal health. He was of view that the toxin spread could be controlled by using indigenous biocontrol product.

Dr. Najmus Sahar, SSO, FQSRI, PARC-SARC, Karachi informed the participants about the status of R&D and field activities related to control of aflatoxin being conducted at PARC-SARC.

Dr. Sabyan Faris Honey, Project Manager, CABI highlighted the importance of chilli crop as Pakistan was 4th larger producer of red chillies as earning 6.9 million US dollars. Unfortunately due to presence of aflatoxin, reduction in its export was observed due to rejection of consignments in international markets. A biopesticide would be experimentally trialed on chilli crop in order to manage the aflatoxin at field level.

Dr. Zakir Hussain Dahri, DG, PARC-SARC, Karachi thanked partners (CABI) and participants (scientists) who attended the event. He stated that in order to resolve issues related to rejection of international consignments like presence of aflatoxin and high pesticide residues, efforts were being carried out. The main objective of the technical collaboration b/w PARC-SARC, NARC and CABI with support of USAID/USDA during project activities would spread awareness and help out chilli farmers of Sindh to increase their capacity regarding aflatoxin and maximum residue limits (MRLs) international standards and regulations respectively.

Parwaiz Ahmed Baloch
Director, FQSRI,
PARC-SARC