cotton scientist declared the world’s best in 2012
A Pakistan-based scientist has been honoured by the International Cotton Advisory
Committee (ICAC), the body said in a statement
released this week.
Dr Yusuf Zafar, who is the director general
agriculture and biotechnology at the Pakistan
Atomic Energy Commission was declared ‘Scientist
of the Year-2012’ for his pioneering work in the
cotton biotechnology sector.
Zafar has over 110 scientific papers (published
in national and international journals) to his
name. According to ICAC, “in cotton virology his
group covers nearly 90 per cent of the global
The Faisalabad-based scientist played a key role
in bringing together the world’s major cotton
groups, including Australia, China, UK and USA,
for the purpose of conducting joint research.
Heading the National
Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering in
Faisalabad, Zafar and his team have contributed helped
produce nearly 100 M. Phil and 30 Ph. D Pakistan-based
students, focussing on various aspects of research and
development in cotton. He has, meanwhile, remained in the
front line to establish Biosafety Protocols, Plant Breeder
Rights, Intellectual Property Rights/Patents and ISO
certification in Pakistan.
In 2001, the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission awarded him
Best Scientist of the Year Award. The President of Pakistan
awarded him ‘Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (Medal of Distinction) in 2004,
the highest recognition for a researcher.
In other honours, Zafar has also won the Rockefeller
Foundation and UNESCO Research Awards on Agri-Biotechnology,
and is member of the USDA Cochran Fellow on Agriculture
Apart from leading the Faisalabad institute, he is on the
Board of Governors of the International Centre for Genetic
Engineering and Biotechnology-ICGEB (Italy), FAO country
focal person on agriculture biotechnology and member of the
Cotton Policy Committee of the government.
The ‘Scientist of the year -2012’ award was announced by
ICAC late Wednesday. ICAC is an intergovernmental body with
54 members and provides services to Common Funds for
Commodity (CFC), an organisation of UNCTAD-UN family.
Applications for the award are invited each year by the
Washington DC-based institute and the selection committee
comprises five anonymous judges outside the ICAC