Islamabad, November 21, 2012 (PPI-OT): The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is helping farmers increase productivity and improving food security in Pakistan by introducing disease-resistant varieties of wheat. USDA’s Wheat Productivity Enhancement Project (WPEP) has introduced 60 advanced wheat varieties in Pakistan in the first of 115 wheat trials scheduled this year at the National Agricultural Research Council (NARC) and other locations throughout Pakistan.
USDA scientists, together with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), helped researchers at the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) establish the annual National Uniform Wheat Yield Trial (NUWYT) at the National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) in Islamabad. USDA helped identify and multiply a variety of wheat called, “NARC 2011,” which can resist wheat rust. After NUWYT tests proved the variety was well-suited for the environment in Pakistan, it was released to and is now being used by farmers.
“Wheat is critical to Pakistan’s food security,” said USDA Plant Health Advisor Ian Winborne at a ceremony in NARC celebrating the establishment of the NUWYT. “The United States is committed to working with Pakistani scientists to develop solutions to wheat diseases that can affect crops here in Pakistan, and in the United States. The NUWYT is an important step in finding disease-resistant wheat varieties that will feed the people of Pakistan for years to come.”
USDA’s WPEP is a collaborative project focused on scientific exchanges on wheat productivity that help develop and introduce disease-resistant varieties, improve agronomy practices, and upgrade infrastructure in Pakistan.
Mutually beneficial scientific exchange and research is an important feature of the work carried out by the United States and Pakistan in agriculture. U.S. and Pakistani agricultural scientists will also deepen their cooperation at the U.S.-funded Centre for Advanced Studies on agriculture. The centre is based in a Pakistani university and hosts regular exchanges between top agricultural scientists from the United States and Pakistan.
For more information, contact:
Public Affairs Section
Embassy of the United States of America
Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5
Tel: +9251-208 0000
Fax: +9251-227 8607