Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) is the apex national organization working in close collaboration with other federal and provincial institutions in the country to provide science based solutions to agriculture of Pakistan through its statutory functions.
The overall decision--making body of PARC is its Board of Governors (BOG), responsible for the control, direction and superintendence of the affairs of PARC. The Board is assisted in its operation by a number of Committees. The Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research, GoP is the President of the Board.
Executive Committee comprising Chairman and Members of the Council is the principal administrative body responsible for execution of all policies and discharging the functions of the Council. Matters relating to research planning, coordination, budget and policy formulation are referred to the Board for seeking its guidance and general direction.
Inter Provincial Agriculture Research Coordination Committee (IPARCC)
IPARCC is an advisory body of the council responsible for inter-provincial coordination between the federal and provincial agricultural research system of Pakistan.
Chairman PARC is the Chief Executive of the Council. He is assisted by 5 Technical Members and 2 members of Services Divisions.
Functions of PARC
The functions of PARC as laid down in PARC Ordinance 1981 are as follows:
At present, PARC has seven divisions; five technical divisions: "Plant Sciences", "Animal Sciences", "Social Sciences", "Natural Resources", "Agricultural Engineering" and Two services divisions: "Finance" and "Coordination & Monitoring".
The activities of various technical divisions related to statutory functions of PARC are handled through in house research establishments of PARC and through countrywide cooperative research programs on various commodities, MOU’s with national / international research organizations, PSDP funded projects and also through competitive grant of Agricultural linkages Program, Ministry of Science and Technology and other institutions.
The focus of activities in the field of crop sciences is to bring self-sufficiency in the major food commodities; import substitution through enhanced local production, value addition, post- harvest management, and adoption of resource conservation technologies.
The focus is oriented towards regeneration of innovative technologies for efficient management of land and water resources and for boosting the agricultural productivity under the arid and mountainous environmental conditions.
The objective of PARC activities on animal sciences is improvement of production potential of animal genetic resources available in the country. The research addresses areas like Animal Health, Animal Nutrition, Animal Reproduction, Dairy Technology, Breeding of Small & Large Ruminants and Aquaculture & Fisheries.
Social Sciences play a key role in linking crop and livestock improvement and resource management research into real life farming systems; in analyzing how well new innovations meet farmers’ needs; and identifying and helping to resolve constraints to technology adoption. It also bridges the gap between policy makers and growers by making them aware of the problem.
Agricultural Engineering Devision has been established in 2014 in pursuance of decision of PARC Board of Governors taken in its 37th meeting. The division’s mandate is to focus on research in the area of agricultural mechanization, post harvest processing, value addition, food engineering, and renewable energy technologies.
PARC has main ten Research Establishments through out the country where research is conducted according to the agro-ecological needs of various regions.
National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC), Islamabad
Spread over a total land area of approximately 1400 acres located near Rawal Lake, six kilometers south-east of Islamabad, on the Park Road, stands the National Agricultural Research Centre as a unique Centre of Excellence. It comprises all the sub sectors of agriculture and is mandated to pursue mission oriented research with full historical appreciation of the already existing provincial research institutes and the universities. It constitutes a vital component of National Agricultural Research System (NARS). Established in 1984, NARC is the largest research centre consisting 19 institutes conducting research on all important fields of agriculture.
Southern-Zone Agricultural Research Centre, Karachi
SARC one of the major research establishments of PARC is located in Sindh, Pakistan with its headquarters at the University of Karachi, Karachi. The main focus of SARC is to undertake research on specialized disciplines of national and regional importance related to grain storage management, grain quality control, pest control management, crop diseases, coastal agricultural, vertebrate pest control, sugarcane research and peri-urban dairying.
National Sugarcane Research Institute (NSCRI) Thatta
Set up in the coastal zone of Sindh to conduct research on breeding of improved sugarcane varieties
Balochistan Agricultural Research & Development Centre (BARDC) Quetta
"Arid Zone Research Institute (AZRI), Quetta" was upgraded as "Arid Zone Research Centre (AZRC), Quetta" in 1996. The Centre has been renamed in 2014 as "Balochistan Agricultural Research & Development Centre (BARDC), Quetta" and reorganised with establishment of five new instututes in Khuzdar, Lasbella, Turbat, jafferabad and Barkhan.
Arid Zone Research Centre , D.I. Khan, Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa
Arid Zone Research Institute (AZRI), D.I. Khan established as sub-station in 1974; was up-graded to the level of institute during 1996, recently Arid Zone Research Institute has been upgraded as Arid Zone Research Centre (AZRC), D. I. Khan with effect from 31st August 2015.The center has four institutes in Wana, Miran Shah, Tank and Lakki Marwat.
National Tea and High Value Crops Research Institute (NTHRI), Mansehra
The major research thrust of the institute is to develop tea production technology including the selection of suitable varieties, standardization of agronomic practices and processing techniques. It is also conducting research on high value crops in the area.
Summer Agricultural Research Station, Kaghan
The institute is a unique facility with PARC to speed-up the development of high yielding varieties by cutting down the variety development period to half using its high altitude conditions. Two cropping seasons can be availed due to this facility, one in planes and the other Kaghan.
Mountain Agricultural Research Centre (MARC), Gilgit
Coordination and linkages
PARC works in close collaboration with provincial research institutes and the universities. The Provincial Secretaries of Agriculture, Livestock and Forestry Departments, Vice Chancellors of Agricultural Universities and farmers / end-users are represented on the PARC Board of Governors (BOG). The collaboration has been further institutionalized by PARC through the forum of Research Advisory Committee on which the provincial Directors General / Directors of Research / Extension Departments, University Professors as well progressive farmers are represented.
National Coordinated research programs on different crop commodities are being implemented by PARC in collaboration with the provincial / federal research / education institutions and these provide yet another mechanism for strengthening the PARC linkages. PARC also sponsors research in the provincial institutions on priority problems through contract research projects which are implemented by scientists of provinces and universities.
PARC is conducting National Uniform Yield Trials (NUYT) which aims at evaluating candidate varieties developed by the breeders of the federal/provincial institutes/stations for their yield ability, adaptation to different agro-ecological zones, disease resistance and other characteristic.
Ministries of "National Food Security & Research", "Planningm Development & Reforms" and "Science & Technology" are represented on the Board of Governors of PARC. Issues of national importance bearing on agricultural research and development in the country and identified in the PARC Board of Governors are taken up with the concerned federal ministries/ departments. Similarly , PARC scientific staff serves on the Technical Committees and Governing Bodies of federal organizations like PCRWR, PAEC, STEDEC, Federal Committee on Agriculture, University Grants Commission, Universitites and planning and Development Division.
International Cooperation and Linkages
USAID and World Bank have been the major donors to the national agricultural research system of Pakistan. The assistance of Canada (CIDA, IDRC) UNDP/FAO, AIDAB, ADAB, ACIAR (Australia), Japan, Switzerland and Italy has also been substantial. PARC serves as the main channel to the Pakistan’s national agricultural research network for access to CGIAR’s system.
Agricultural Linkages Program (ALP) established under an agreement signed between Government of Pakistan and USA in 1999, provided 200,000 tonnes of wheat valued at US $ 23.222 million as a grant to Pakistan. Out of this, Rs. 1.3 billion was approved as Agricultural Research Endowment Fund (AREF) by the ECC for utilization of its income by PARC for funding research projects all over Pakistan.
PARC as the focus of agricultural research is functioning and will continue to function as a conduit for exchange of knowledge, skills and technical materials between provincial, federal and international research organisations to stimulate the progress of agricultural development.
Contributions to National Agricultural Research System
PARC contributions to the national system include, inter-alia; funding of research projects of national interest; funding and implementation of coordinated research programs; planning and coordination of research monitoring, review and evaluation; training for agriculture scientists; coordination with provincial research institutes; collection and supply of germplasm; variety evaluation; material support (lab. equipment, vehicles, computers, etc); equipment maintenance and services; sponsoring for participation in overseas meeting; information services & databases; supply of literature; linkages with international research centers; publications; national awards & medals; and holding of conferences / seminars for promotion of agricultural research.