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Nuclear technology to improve the productivity of agri. sector. SAPM on Food Security

Developing new technologies must to uplift agriculture; Chairman PARC

Islamabad, September 27, 2021. On visit of Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (NIAB) at Faisalabad, Dr. Tariq Mahmood Shah Director NIAB welcomed the honorable chief guest Mr. Jamshed Iqbal Cheema, special assistant to PM on food security for sparing time to visit NIAB to see the ongoing R&D activities and field performance of cotton and rice varieties. SAPM on Food Security was accompanied with Chairman PARC, Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan, Chief Executive PARB, Dr. Abid Mahmood, DG AARI, Dr. Muhammad Zaffar Iqbal, along with all HODs, Dr. Manzoor Hussain and other group leaders.

Mr. Jamshed Iqbal Cheema conducted the detailed visit of different cotton trials and discussed, in detail, regarding cotton breeding material. He appreciated the performance of latest cotton varieties namely NIAB-SANAB-M, NIAB-512, NIAB-898 along-with earlier approved varieties like NIAB-KIRAN, NIAB-878B, NIAB-1048, NIAB-545, NIAB-1011. Furthermore, he cherished the NIAB cotton material regarding their fiber traits; climate resilient traits especially heat tolerance and CLCuD resistance. Dr. Manzoor Hussain presented the Punjab seed corporation multiplication data and federal seed data showing the contribution of NIAB varieties in the multiplication targets.

Sharing views, Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan Chairman PARC asked Dr. M. Kashif Riaz Khan to prepare a proposal amounting 15-20 Million Rs. on cotton improvement. He also visited the rice field and appreciated the efforts of rice breeders of NIAB and proposed to submit a proposal on aromatic rice improvement. Moreover, the Chairman also appreciated the performance of early maturing mutants of super basmati and asked to include them in the national uniform rice yield trials to observe their performance against the check cultivar 1121. Chairman PARC committed to provide the manpower to rice group for rice breeding program under PSDP project component at NIAB.

Director NIAB highlighted the salient features of chickpea and mungbean varieties and explained that NIAB has been playing a lead role in such pulses cultivars across the country. Nevertheless, delegate visited the Food quality Lab, where Dr. Uzma Maqbool explained that the said Lab had already accredited ISO 17025 and is top notch Lab in Pakistan as for as analytical services for food quality is concerned. Mr. Jamshed Cheema asked Chairman PARC to utilize such second to none facility. Chairman PARC ensured, projects will be prepared regarding food quality under ALP etc. Moreover, Mr. Cheema highly acclaimed the proficiency testing as explained by Dr. Uzma that unknown samples sent to us for analysis to check the results of the Lab.

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