3-day Meeting on Climate Resilient Wheat Crop Improvement for Food Security begins

ISLAMABAD:Speakers at a three-day meeting of international experts from OIC member countries deliberated upon the problems and strategies of wheat cultivation and the development of climate-resilient wheat varieties.

The meeting, being organized by COMSTECH, was being held at the COMSTECH Secretariat, with the participation of representatives from Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Turkiye, Tunisia, Azerbaijan and Morocco.

A number of international organizations in agricultural research in arid or saline conditions, namely Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), Assistance to States for Control of Animal Diseases (ASCAD), International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) and CIMMYI-Int are also attending the meeting.

The meeting is being jointly organized by the Islamic Organization of Food Security (IOFS), OIC Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) and the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC).

In addition to the country presentations highlighting the status and the strategies being used by several member states for developing wheat varieties that are both resilient to the stressful conditions due to climate change and aridity, the meeting also deliberated on the special problems of food security in Afghanistan, particularly with respect to drought conditions.

The opening session of the meeting was addressed by the Director General IOFS, Prof. Yerlan A. Baidaulet, Coordinator General of COMSTECH, Prof. M. Iqbal Choudhary and the Chairman of PARC Dr. Muhammad Ghulam Ali. The speakers highlighted the need for developing cooperation between participating countries to learn from each other experiences, best practices and to exchange crop varieties.

The meeting is expected to develop an Action Plan and decide on practical steps to achieve the goals of ensuring food security through the development and exchange of climate-resilient, higher yield and higher nutrition wheat crop varieties, through increased scientific cooperation and exchange of plant genetic material.

The OIC experts will visit the research laboratories of the PARC on the last day of the meeting.