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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) has recommended 89 hybrid varieties of maize, sorghum, millet, and fodder crops for commercial cultivation in the country.

The decision was taken during the 10th variety evaluation committee meeting on maize, sorghum, millet, and fodder crops, which was held here on Thursday under the chairman PARC Dr Ghulam Mohammad Ali after reviewing a total 129 varieties of various hybrid seeds.

Out of 89 hybrid varieties of the above mentioned crops, 71 maize grain hybrids, two open pollinated maize varieties, five maize fodder/silage hybrids, one sorghum grain hybrid, four pearl millet grain hybrids, and six sorghum Sudan grass hybrids were recommended for commercial cultivation. The meeting was also attended by the technical members of VEC, from NARS and private seed companies.

Dr Ali, chairman PARC appreciated the important role of VEC for recommendations of hybrids and varieties of various crops, which will reduce the import bill. He also highlighted the role of public-private seed sector in the context of hybrid/varieties seed production of maize, sorghum, millet, and fodder crops.

The chairman PARC also appreciated the role of the PARC coordination and the increasing trust of stakeholders on the system.

The chairman urged the importance of self-sufficiency in maize as a role model for other crops.

He made compulsory DNA profile, while entry submission in NUYT testing.

While discussing, Dr Syed Waseemul Hassan, food commissioner; Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNSF&R) emphasised on protocols to evaluate the entries. He enlightened the aim of the VEC for providing stable hybrids to every maize grower. He urged to promote millet grain to reduce the import.

Prior to the meeting, the chairman PARC also held talks with the representatives of all seed companies including potato seed interpreter to discuss the issues of companies.

The chairman PARC urged the participants of various seed companies to promote local seed production to cut down the import bill. He also emphasised to arrange seminars/workshops to reduce communication gap between public and private sector. The chairman PARC appreciated the immerging trend of local research and development of private seed companies in the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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