Minister for National Food Security and researcher Syed Fakhar Imam has advised the scientific community to adopt advanced biotechnology tools and genomic strategies for rapid yield enhancement of crops such as wheat, sugarcane, oil crops, and horticultural crops.
Over the course of his visit to Green Super Rice (GSR) fields at the National Institute for Genomics and Advanced Biotechnology (NIGAB) on Friday, the Minister stressed the need for developing genomic techniques to improve local animal and plant breeds.
Dr Ghulam Muhammad Ali, genomics and biotechnology researcher and member of the Plant Sciences Division, briefed the Minister on the Green Super Rice project and the activities being conducted by the biotechnology institute.
In collaboration with the international scientific community and Chinese research partners, NIGAB is using the latest genome-based breeding techniques to develop its rice variants. The yield potential of the selected rice varieties ranges from 80 to 120 pounds per acre. The rice is of excellent quality, with its long grain, and that makes it ideal for the international export market.
The Green Super Rice project also ties in with the Prime Minister’s desire to reduce food inflation and promote his rice productivity enhancement initiative.
The Minister was immensely appreciative of the work and research being done by the team involved with the project. He went on to state that the work and the facilities available are comparable to any international genomics institute out there.
In his address to the scientists gathered there, the Minister emphasized the need to adopt modern breeding techniques to increase the per acre yield of Pakistani crop varieties. He advised students and researchers to attain advanced education and training from international institutes such as those present in China.
Members of Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) were also present on the occasion.