ISLAMABAD: National Agriculture Research Center has introduced three high-yielding wheat and four banana varieties in order to produce exportable surplus and ensure food safety and security of the country. Additionally, the research institute has also developed three new varieties of potatoes and developed a gene bank comprising upon over 36,000 germplasms of different crops to produce seed varieties to enhance per acre crop output in the country, said Director General National Agriculture Research Center Dr Ghulam M Ali. Briefing the media about the progress and development made so far in research and development fields, he said that due to scientific research country was surplus in all cereal food crops including wheat, rice, maize, sugarcane and all other seasonal fruits and vegetables. He said besides providing technical assistance to thousands of farmers, about 32,000 tons of canola hybrid seed were distributed among the farmers to increase oil seed production in the country and saving the foreign exchange reserves spent on the import of the commodity.
He informed that the research center in collaboration with international development partners and agencies had prepared disease resistant, drought resilient seed varieties of wheat and hybrid rice and cotton to enhance the their yield and increase the farm income.
Several steps have been taken in order to introduce climate smart agriculture technologies to minimize the cost of inputs and maximize output in the country and make many interventions in different fields by engaging the farming community to adopt these interventions, he added.
He said that besides dissemination of research results to end users, about 35 researchers have completed their Phd programme, 154 M Phil and about 500 students were on internship.
He said that NARC in collaboration with the private sector has also introduced high efficiency solar irrigation technologies for small and large land holdings across the country.