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Nuclear Technology to improve productivity of agriculture sector: SAPM

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Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (NIAB), Faisalabad

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: On the visit of the Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (NIAB) in Faisalabad, the Director NIAB Dr. Tariq Mahmood Shah welcomed the honorable chief guest the Prime Minister’s Special Assistant (SAPM) on Food Security Jamshed Iqbal Cheema for sparing time to visit NIAB to see the ongoing R&D activities and field performance of cotton and rice varieties.

The SAPM on Food Security was accompanied by the Chairman PARC Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan, the Chief Executive PARB Dr. Abid Mahmood, the Director-General AARI Dr. Muhammad Zaffar Iqbal along with all HODs, Dr. Manzoor Hussain, and other group leaders.

Jamshed Iqbal Cheema conducted a detailed visit of different cotton trials and discussed, in detail, cotton breeding material. He appreciated the performance of the latest cotton varieties namely NIAB-SANAB-M, NIAB-512, NIAB-898 along with earlier approved varieties like NIAB-KIRAN, NIAB-878B, NIAB-1048, NIAB-545, NIAB-1011.

Furthermore, he cherished the NIAB cotton material regarding their fiber traits; climate-resilient traits especially heat tolerance and CLCuD resistance.

Dr. Manzoor Hussain presented the Punjab seed corporation multiplication data and federal seed data showing the contribution of NIAB varieties in the multiplication targets.

Sharing views, the Chairman PARC Dr. Muhammad Azeem Khan asked Dr. M. Kashif Riaz Khan to prepare a proposal amounting to Rs 15-20 million on cotton improvement.

Dr. Muhammad Azeem also visited the rice field and appreciated the efforts of rice breeders of NIAB and proposed to submit a proposal on aromatic rice improvement.

Moreover, the Chairman also appreciated the performance of early maturing mutants of super basmati and asked to include them in the national uniform rice yield trials to observe their performance against the check cultivar 1121.

The Chairman PARC committed to provide the manpower to the rice group for the rice breeding program under the PSDP project component at NIAB.

The Director NIAB highlighted the salient features of chickpea and mungbean varieties and explained that NIAB has been playing a lead role in such pulses cultivars across the country.

Nevertheless, the delegation visited the Food quality La, where Dr. Uzma Maqbool explained that the said Lab had already accredited ISO 17025 and is a top-notch Lab in Pakistan as for as analytical services for food quality is concerned.

Jamshed Cheema asked the Chairman PARC to utilize such second to none facility.

The Chairman PARC ensured that projects will be prepared regarding food quality under ALP etc.

Moreover, Jamshed Cheema highly acclaimed the proficiency testing as explained by Dr. Uzma that unknown samples were sent to us for analysis to check the results of the Lab.

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