The effects of Climate Change also need to be considered along-with orther evolving factors that affect agriculture production. Dr. Yusuf Zafar T.I., Chairman PARC
ISLAMABAD: (14th November, 2018) …… an International Seminar on “Crop Wild Relatives (CWR) Genetic Resources of Pakistan and their Utilization” was jointly organized by Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) and The Crop Trust Bonn, Germany. The Seminar was held at National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) on 14-11-2018. Dr. Muhammad Hashim Populzai, Federal Secretary for M/o NFS&R, Islamabad was the Chief Guest of the International Seminar.
Addressing to the participants of the Seminar, the Chief Guest, Dr. Hashim Populzai, Federal Secretary for M/o NFS&R said that Food as a basic necessity, its availability , access, sustainability and security has been main focus in human life. Its availability and production is greatly affected by climatic stresses. Agricultural crops are produced by the hard work of farmers and it is a result of sustained effort. The Federal Secretary further added that various countries of the World depend on each other with regard to crop diversity for agricultural research and breeding. The increasing genetic uniformity of crop varieties combined with climate change makes crops more vulnerable to abiotic stress. Wild species are reservoir of many useful genes / alleles which have evolved under natural selection to survive climate extremes and are of great potential value for future breeding efforts. The right to food is a basic human requirement and investing in sustainable food systems means addressing our major national challenges.
Dr. Yusuf Zafar, T.I, Chairman, PARC in his speech shared his views that fortunately nature blessed us with a diverse kind of soil and climate for the cultivation of diverse plant species. The region remains the centre of diversity for a number of crops and their wild relatives. However, this diversity is seriously threatened due to various biotic and abiotic stresses, technological advancements, urbanization and especially unexpected disasters like earthquakes and floods that warrants the need for their conservation. Organization of this seminar is at very appropriate time as sustainable development, management and conservation of genetic resources including CWRs are the main issues faced by many countries including Pakistan. Through this seminar, PARC aims to strengthen NARS country wide for improving national crop genetic resource management effectively utilizing these resources under changed agro-climate conditions and seeking sustainable growth in agricultural production. The effects of Climate Change also need to be considered along-with other evolving factors that affect agriculture production.
Ms. Beri Bonglim, The Crop Trust, Bonn, Germany while extending her views said that for as long ahead as we can usefully think that breeders, researchers and indeed farmers will need genebanks to help them get hold of seeds. Those seeds are the key to ensuring agriculture keeps pace. She hoped that discussions / recommendations emanating from this activity will prove useful for the networking and strengthening of Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) activities. This will ultimately lead to meet growing demands for increased food production and food security in the World and Pakistan.
Director (PR&P) PARC
Edited by: Muhammad Fiaz Joyia
Director (SC&P) NARC