May 04, 2014- BR
The heat tolerant and resilient maize crop can alleviate the hunger and help achieve the food security in the third world countries. This was stated by speakers at the International conference titled recent trends in maize production arranged by the Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics (PBG), University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF).
Addressing on the occasion, UAF Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said the country has made tremendous development in the maize. He said before the green revolution, maize floor was being used by the people as maize is economical compared to wheat. In the modern era, the technology is needed to make the ‘roti’ from the maize to market it and to address the issue of hunger. He said that agri production could be boosted up by adopting heat tolerant and insect resistant varieties. The improved farming practices would also help reduce the production costs.
CIMMYT country representative Dr Muhammad Imtiaz said Pakistan can earn heavy foreign exchange with the maize. The China is the world’s second largest consumer of maize. The 2012-13, the maize production in Pakistan witnessed 15 percent increase. He said maize production has crossed 4.2 million tonnes mark in the last cropping year. The maize production can double in the developing counties by 2050. Talking about the major maize producer, he said the United States is the main supplier.
Faculty of Agriculture Dean Professor Dr Muhammad Arshad said maize is one of the key players for the food security. He said amid climate changes, the short duration crops will help the country to meet the food demands of the increasing population. He said after wheat and rice, the maize is the third biggest food crop, it is also a major crop in many countries because of its multiple uses and high yield. He said demand of the cereal is increasing and the maize can become most demanding cereal in developing countries by 2020.
PBG Chairman Professor Dr Abdus Salam said good quality seeds are important owing to changing weather patterns. It will help fight harsh weather conditions. He said that maize is one of the major cereals. He said there is a gap between public and private sectors regarding research activities for the development of maize hybrids. Office of Research Innovation and Commercialisation Director Professor Dr Asif Ali said maize is profitable crop. If the country succeeded in enhancing its production, maize-based industry would grow which will ultimately create employment opportunities. Dr Muhammad Aslam also spoke on the occasion.