Saturday September 18, 2021

Chinese seed technologies to empower Pak seed industry

INP
March 28, 2021

BEIJING: China-Pakistan cooperation in seed, the “core” of agriculture, is high on the agenda as the CPEC enters the second phase to focus on agriculture cooperation and other sectors of social welfare, according to a report published by China Economic Net (CEN).

At the China-Pakistan Seed Industry Cooperation and Exchange Forum held last week, agricultural experts from China and Pakistan offered insights on how to further promote bilateral cooperation in the seed industry.

Dr Zhang Shengquan of the Beijing Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences said, “In 2012, we carried out joint R&D on two-line hybrid wheat in Pakistan, and achieved an average increase of more than 20 % in wheat production, and last year, we brought that figure to 50% and even up to 70%.” The potential of China’s hybrid wheat is emphasised by Shahzad Ali Malik, CEO of GUARD AGRI, during his interview with CEN.

GUAED AGRI was the first Pakistani agricultural company to introduce Chinese hybrid wheat, and despite the “challenge-laden” process, the company remains confident that Chinese hybrid wheat will help boost food production in Pakistan.

The reasons for limited wheat production in Pakistan include low yield potential of seed varieties, mismanagement, high temperature and drought, and severe rust damage, etc. Drought-resistant and infertility-resistant traits of Chinese hybrid wheat make it a suitable variety to be introduced in Pakistan. Dr Li Hui from the breeding team of the Hebei Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences said that China’s Hebei, with its natural conditions similar to those of Pakistan, has been dedicated to the R&D of draught-resistant, water-saving wheat varieties to achieve replicably stable and huge production.