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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) has developed six commercial varieties of beans, which will help reduce reliance on imported pulses, besides increasing farm income.

“These are the first commercial varieties of beans produced in Pakistan, which will strengthen pulses cultivation at national level and enhance their output,” a PARC official told APP on Wednesday.

He said besides reducing the food import bill, the commercial varieties of beans would also help in sustainable agriculture development in the country. They would will be beneficial for small land holders and enhance their farm income to alleviate poverty and address malnutrition issues in the rural areas, he added.

The official said the PARC under the Public Sector Development Programme had launched a five-year research project to increase the national average produce of pulses, including chickpea, mung been, mash, lentils and beans by 30% to meet the demand and increase farm profit.

He said the council was holding training workshops and awareness seminars for promotion of pulses and increase their production, which would increase local output by 15-20 percent every year.

The availability of 4,000 local and foreign lines of different pulses would be ensured for the development of high-yielding variety, he said, adding due to the hard work and efforts of local scientists, the production of pulses, especially mung had been improved.

Under the project, he said, the PARC had developed six varieties of beans for general cultivation in the country. The expansion of area in Balochistan for pulses cultivation was one of the main objectives of the project, he added.

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