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Experiments on hybrid food crops


Experiments on hybrid food crops :-Pakissan.com


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Experiments in development of hybrid food and fodder crop seeds are gathering pace. Federal agencies, tasked with agricultural research and research wings of agricultural universities, too, are now working more extensively in this area. And, in some cases, the results have been very encouraging. The National Agricultural Research Centre, for example, has developed two hybrid fodder crop seeds Narc-Hybrid 2 and Narc-Hybrid 4 under a dedicated research programme to get higher per-hectare fodder yields.

To enhance food crops’ productivity and ensure food security, various agricultural researchers have been experimenting with hybrid seeds of maize, rice, wheat and sunflower for quite some time.

The results of these experiments have remained mixed, ranging from renewed hopes for productivity to a better understanding of what is required to make hybrid seed search wider and more result-oriented.

The maize hybrid seed have been introduced for sowing.

Though corn output has been rising in recent years, the rationale for developing corn hybrid seed is obvious.

“Further increase in production would create larger exportable surplus besides encouraging the use of staple grains in domestic consumption via lower prices,” says an official of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research.

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The hybrid corn seed developed by the Punjab Seed Corporation and the Breeders of Maize and Millet Research Institute is expected to give 100 maunds per acre yield, against the current average of 62 maunds.

And, the seed can be sown in both autumn and winter.

Some growers in Punjab have got higher per-hectare wheat yields this year by using two Chinese hybrid varieties, Beijing-6 and Beijing-7
Some years ago, two new varieties of hybrid rice GNY50 and GNY53 were introduced in Sindh and Balochistan, and after initial success of pilot projects, their commercial cultivation had started.

Rice growers say these hybrid varieties have played a great role in boosting paddy production in Sindh over last three years.

In Balochistan, too, these varieties have helped boost paddy output after the 2010 super floods though poor law and order situation and resultant neglect of agriculture prevented full — scale exploitation of the production potential of these varieties.

Some growers in Punjab have got higher per-hectare wheat yields this year by using two Chinese hybrid wheat varieties Beijing-6 and Beijing-7.

They say that the use of these varieties might expand in coming years, given their compatibility with our soil and environmental conditions.

The two varieties were first brought in Pakistan and tested at pilot projects three years ago. Guard Agri, a local agricultural research company, in collaboration with a Chinese company Sinoseeds, has already carried out experiments, in 81 test fields, of other Chinese hybrid wheat varieties.

Both companies are now developing a strategy for marketing these varieties, industry sources say.

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In 2006, hybrid sunflower varieties Parsun-1 and Hysun-33 were tested along with 11 other hybrids in three districts of Balochistan and were found promising for large scale cultivation.

Since then, these two varieties have been under cultivation there and have led to higher sunflower output, according to officials of provincial agriculture department.

Experiments in development of hybrid food and fodder crop seeds are gathering pace. Federal agencies, tasked with agricultural research and research wings of agricultural universities, too, are now working more extensively in this area.

And, in some cases, the results have been very encouraging.

The National Agricultural Research Centre, for example, has developed two hybrid fodder crop seeds Narc-Hybrid 2 and Narc-Hybrid 4 under a dedicated research programme to get higher per-hectare fodder yields.

In 2014, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council had developed Canola Hybrid and sunflower (Parsun-3) hybrids with good yield potential besides producing a few other hybrid seeds with Parc Agro-Tech Company on pilot scale.

Patco-Parc is said to have already marketed around 50 tonnes of canola hybrid seed during last three years.

The seed is stated to have been distributed in many districts of Punjab and KP through private seed company and Patco, to more than 5,000 farmers.

Parc officials say, developing high-yield hybrid seeds of canola and sunflower is the need of the hour to boost domestic production of edible oil-producing crops and, thereby, cut foreign exchange spending on imports of edible oil.

Perhaps the most unnoticed hybrid seed development stories can be found in fruits and vegetable sub-sector of crops.

“Over the years, we’ve developed a lot of hybrid vegetable seeds and have been marketing them successfully,” says an official of Agrico Pak, a local vegetables’ seed company.

His company’s hybrid seeds for seedless okra, early-harvest Slicer cucumber and broad-leaves Charleston watermelons are competing with hybrid seeds of multinational companies.

An accelerated drive for development of hybrid seeds for food crops and fruits and vegetables has started yielding results.

The success of hybrid technology in any crop, depends on yield advantage over open pollinated varieties and production as well as marketing feasibility.

“We’re meeting the first prerequisite but there are problems in the second one,” says a senior official of Parc.

“The federal and provincial governments may consider allocating additional money in their agricultural budgets to incentivise production and marketing of hybrid seeds being developed in the country.”

May, 2015
By  Mohiuddin Aazim
Source:
Dawn News

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