“U.S.-Pakistan cooperation to combat wheat illnesses will assist Pakistan enhance rural livelihoods.”
Islamabad, Could 8, 2013 – U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson in the present day reaffirmed america authorities’s long-term assist to farming communities in Pakistan. “Because the 1950s, america has been working to assist agriculture in Pakistan, introducing the Kinno orange and serving to to double Pakistan’s wheat manufacturing. Right now, we proceed our assist as a result of enhancing crop yields, defending meals sources from illness, and boosting milk manufacturing will enhance farmers’ incomes, enhance vitamin, and finally strengthen Pakistan’s prosperity.”
Addressing a gathering of presidency officers, researchers, and farmers throughout his go to to the Nationwide Agriculture Analysis Middle (NARC), which was established with the assistance of the U.S. authorities within the 1980s, Ambassador Olson mentioned, “America is dedicated to serving to the small farmers of Pakistan by initiatives that improve agricultural productiveness.” The Ambassador lauded the progress made by the Wheat Productiveness Enhancement Challenge (WPEP), a United States Division of Agriculture (USDA) program managed in collaboration with nationwide and provincial analysis companions that has efficiently launched the UG 99-resistant wheat selection, “NARC 2011.”
The introduction of this wheat selection helps shield Pakistan towards UG 99, a virulent wheat illness within the area that poses a menace to Pakistan’s farming group. “Wheat accounts for roughly 60 p.c of the day by day caloric consumption of the common Pakistani, so our joint efforts to fight this illness are important,” mentioned Ambassador Olson. “The Wheat Productiveness Enhancement Challenge crew and Pakistani scientists at nationwide and provincial analysis stations have made nice progress within the combat towards wheat rusts, and I encourage you to proceed your work collectively.”
Along with assist for the Wheat Productiveness Enhancement Challenge, america has offered new harvesting machines and funded enhancements to analysis stations round Pakistan to develop extra disease-resistant wheat varieties. America additionally supplies specialised coaching alternatives to Pakistani wheat scientists.
Dr. Muhammad Imtiaz, Nation Liaison Officer for the Worldwide Maize and Wheat Enchancment Middle, famous that with out disease-resistant styles of wheat, such because the one being harvested at NARC, consultants estimate that Pakistan’s annual wheat harvest could possibly be decreased by as a lot as 50 p.c if and when UG 99 arrives. “Agriculture contributes 21 p.c to the GDP of Pakistan and employs 45 p.c of the labor pressure, making it one of the important financial drivers of Pakistan,” Dr. Imtiaz mentioned. Pakistani farmers grew about 24 million tons of wheat on eight million hectares final 12 months, accounting for about 2.four p.c of the GDP.
“America and Pakistan have related agricultural techniques, and for that cause we’ve got been efficient companions in agriculture for greater than half a century, working collectively to enhance agricultural yields and to fight illness,” mentioned Ambassador Olson. “Because the 1950s, U.S. and Pakistani scientists have collaborated to extend wheat manufacturing. At the moment, Dr. Manzoor Bajwa and Dr. Norman Borlaug labored collectively to develop ‘Mexi-Pak,’ the wheat selection that began the Inexperienced Revolution in Pakistan and helped to double Pakistan’s wheat manufacturing between 1965 and 1970.”
“Right now, our long-term dedication to Pakistan’s agriculture sector is sustained by initiatives that assist combat animal and crop illnesses, enhance vegetable and mango manufacturing, enhance irrigation, enhance dairy manufacturing, and assist wheat analysis, ” Ambassador Olson concluded.
Mr. Taimur Azmat Osman, Secretary, Ministry of Nationwide Meals Safety and Analysis and Dr. Iftikar Ahmed, Chairman, Pakistan Agriculture Analysis Centre (PARC) had been amongst others who had been current on the event.