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Workshop on Plant Genetic Resources vital for sharing knowladge to OIC:Maken

Islamabad (8th May, 2018)..............Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Economic Cooperation Organization, Science Foundation and COMSTECH jointly organized an international workshop on plant Genetic Resources and Genebank Operations Management system at COMSTECH Secretariat.

The workshop is aimed at to entertain the participants from Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) member countries. OIC Members in the Workshop were Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Gambia, Iraq, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Senegal, Sudan, Tajikstan. The workshop have two main objectives, Raise the capacity of the existing Plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA) conservation and utilization facilities in OIC countries with particular focus on Current status of plant diversity. To conserve agricultural biodiversity, gene, banks are used to store and conserve the plant genetic resources of major crop plants and their crop wild relatives.

Addressing to the inaugural session, the Chief Guest, Fazal Abbas Maken, Federal Secretary for M/o National Food Security & Research highlighted the importance of sharing knowledge among OIC member countries particularly for formulating future strategies on plant genetic resources and gene-bank management and to build regional capacities on this subject. He further said that the impacts of climate change on global agriculture and ultimately the food security are serious threats for feeding the growing population and by the end of this workshop, we will be able to have more cooperation internationally about the genetic resources for food and agriculture for their exploitation and conservation of this human heritage. The Federal Secretary also appreciated the efforts of PARC, COMSTECH and ECOSF for holding consultative seminar and intellectual debate. He also welcomed the delegates from abroad.

Dr. Yusuf Zafar, Chairman, PARC during his address said that the International workshop addresses one of the most pressing and vital concerns confronting us as we tackle the challenges of global climate change, population control, loss of biodiversity and its effects on agriculture, on the one hand and demand of feeding an ever growing population on the other. These challenges not only require the preservation of our plant genetic resources but the development of new species that can cope with the growing environmental challenges, but primary to all these efforts are the development of Genebanks and their efficient and scientific usage. The Chairman also said that he is sure that both PARC and COMSTECH would play an important role in using this opportunity for developing collaborations and networks between OIC Member States, their expertise and experiences.

Ms Mina Dowlatchahi, FAO Representative in Pakistan said that International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources in Food and Agriculture is important for Pakistan since it aims at establishing a global system to provide farmers, plant breeders and scientists with access to plant genetic materials. Use of plant genetic resources is an integral element of efficient seed certification system and FAO is supporting Federal Seed Certification Department, the public and private sectors to develop capacity and technical expertise. She also ensured FAO full support for partnership.

(Maqbool Shahbaz)
Director (PR&P) PARC
Mobile 0332-9243291
Edited by: Ahmad Mahmood uz Azman
Sr. Editor, NARC