December 02, 2016Print : National
Plan to develop germ plasm to boost soybean production
From Our Correspondent
FAISALABAD: The University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) and Monsanto will work together to develop stress-tolerant germ plasm for soybean cultivators to increase productivity of the crop.
It was discussed in a meeting held between UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan and Monsanto Senior Executive Dr Mao Chen at the VC Chamber. Department of Entomology Chairman Prof Dr Jalal Arif along with Monsanto official Iftikhar and UAF Assistant Prof Dr Zunnu Raen also attended the meeting. The meeting also disused the BT cotton risk management and stewardship of the BT crops.
The VC said soybean had tremendous scope in our farming system. He said we import the oil worth billions of rupees we can overcome the scarcity if we promote the cultivation of oilseed crops. He said we need to develop new varieties of shorter duration and suitable for different ecologies in the country. He said there is a need to develop soybean and canola interventions as these crops have marvelous potential.
He said soybean demand is increasing in the world due to its unique composition, excellent nutritional value and health benefits. About cotton, he said the varsity had developed a new variety of cotton which would help increase the productivity.
Dr Mao Chen said Pink bollworm resistance development should be managed against BT cotton expressing single germ of cry AC. He also stressed the need of introducing BT cotton having multiple toxins to combat pink bollworm in the future. He said Bollgard II should be introduced in Pakistan after its bio-safety and risk assessment evaluation. Department of Entomology Chairman Dr Jalal Arif said the Punjab government has constituted a committee under the convenership of VC Dr Iqrar to revamp its agriculture policy aimed at increasing productivity and addressing the issues of farming community. Dr Zunnu Raen said the tangible researches were being carried out to increase the per acre productivity of the crops. He said development of stressed-tolerant germ plasm of cultivators of soybean would help address the issue. The delegation also visited the different labs of the department of the entomology.