The Variety Evaluation Committee (VEC) of Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) here Tuesday approved and recommended seven rice hybrids varieties for commercial cultivation in the country.
The VEC meeting held here chaired by Member Plant Sciences, PARC Dr Ghulam Muhammad Ali and discussed in length the availability of hybrid rice varieties for commercial cultivation.
National Coordinator (Rice) of PARC presented the working paper for all the eleven proposals of rice hybrids for recommendation to the Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department.
The representatives of national and multinational seed companies including Chairman Seed of Pakistan and Executive Director Crop Life Pakistan attended the meeting.
Speaking on the occasion Dr Ali said that verity evaluation was vital for enhancing the productivity of all major and minor crops in country to fulfill the domestic requirements as well as for exporting.
He emphasized the importance of quality seed production for enhancing the productivity and profitability of farmers and appreciated the role of seed companies for making efforts to improve the potential of rice hybrids in Pakistan.
Using latest technique of genome based breeding by design; NIGAB scientists in collaboration with international scientist and Chinese partners have developed Green Super Rice, he said adding that the yield potential of selected rice varieties ranges from 80 to 120 mounds per acre.
Dr Ali, explained that with extra long grain there are good chances to capture the export market of rice internationally.
This project was very important to rapidly enhance the yield of rice as desired in Primer Minister Rice productivity enhancement Initiative, he added.
He advised the scientists to adopt advance biotechnology tools as genomics strategy for rapid yield enhancement of other crops such as wheat, sugarcane, oil crops, and horticultural crops.
He also stressed the need to develop like Green Super Rice techniques to improve local animal breeds through genomics based research.
Afterwards the procedures for management of National Uniform Yield Trials and related business were discussed in detail for evaluating the hybrids/varieties of rice for the coming crop.
Representatives of seed companies appreciated the role of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council for devising a transparent procedure for testing of rice hybrids in Pakistan for the benefits of farmers as well as rice sector in Pakistan.