Need stressed to developing climate resilient seed varieties

FAISALABAD: University of Agriculture Faisalabad Vice Chancellor Dr Asif Tanveer on Thursday stressed the need for

developing climate resilient seed varieties to increase per acre yield and strengthen the agriculture sector.

He was speaking as the chief guest at a joint meeting of PSDP project titled “Quality seed production

and supply to the farming community for ensuring food security in Pakistan”. He said the project was meant

to provide an enabling environment with advanced seed research, improved human resources, and set up

seed production related infrastructure facilities, which would cater the needs of farmers, national seed

companies and public sector institutions.

He said the seed production was the most important sector, which required coordinated efforts by seed

experts and researchers in the field of genetics. He said, “We have to introduce genes in seed production

that increase resistance to changing climatic conditions”. “We have to increase the per acre production

to feed the increasing population and overcome challenges of malnutrition, and food security”, he said.

He said that unfortunately the country lacks in the supply of certified seeds to the farmers.

Director Planning and Development Irfan Abbas said the project would be completed in three years after consultation with stakeholders for which the government had allocated Rs 764 million. He said that 900 seed distributing companies were functioning in the country.

He said that in the project, tangible work would be carried out on vegetables, quinoa, wheat, and other crops. Director Office of Research Innovation and Commercialization (ORIC) UAF Prof Dr Zaheer Ahmad Zaheer

said the UAF was making all out efforts to resolve the problems of farmers in agriculture by strengthening

the academia-industrial ties.

He said the project would help build a model seed production, processing and distribution network to promote quality seed supply.

Dr. Irfan Afzal, seed scientist at UAF, said the university had launched a degree programme in seed science. Principal Public Relations Officer Prof Dr Muhammad Jalal Arif and Javed Ahmed Chief Scientist Ayub

Agricultural Research Institute Faisalabad also attended the meeting.