Tuesday June 25, 2024

15m metric tons of biofortified wheat expected in 2024: expert

By Bureau report
April 25, 2024
In this image, a farmers family harvests wheat crops in Pakistan on April 24, 2024. — Online
In this image, a farmer's family harvests wheat crops in Pakistan on April 24, 2024. — Online

PESHAWAR: A noted agriculturist and former secretary of the Pakistan Tobacco Board (PTB), Khan Faraz, has said that due to the selection of biofortified wheat Akbar 2019 for cultivation, Pakistan is expected to have a bumper harvest of around 15 million metric tons of biofortified, zinc-enriched wheat during the 2024 wheat harvesting season in the country.

He said that biofortified wheat Akbar 2019 is renowned for its immense nutritional value, disease resistance, and 8-10 percent higher yield potential.“Wheat is one of the most strategic crops globally, posing a significant challenge for many governments. In Pakistan, wheat stands as one of the most important staple food crops,” said Khan Faraz.

The total average wheat cropping area in Pakistan is around 9 million hectares, and during the 2023-24 season, Akbar 2019 was planted on approximately 3.78 million hectares, with an expected production of nearly 15 million metric tons.

Khan Faraz highlighted that Akbar 2019 has been cultivated on nearly 42 percent of the wheat cropping area of Pakistan this year.

“The emergence of Akbar 2019, a wheat variety famous for its high zinc content, signifies a significant turning point in Punjab’s agricultural landscape. This innovation has become the most popular wheat choice, underscoring the success of collaborative efforts in promoting its widespread adoption,” added Faraz. Furthermore, he mentioned that Akbar 2019’s journey began with the identification of its nutritional potential through micronutrient testing programmes and strategic investments in early-generation seed production by HarvestPlus.