ISLAMABAD, Sep 12 (APP): A group of Chines agriculture experts, comprising 12 hybrid rice scientists, arrived here Tuesday to train local scientist and farmers on hybrid rice cultivation technologies to improve per acre crop productivity. The Chinese scientists are scheduled to train 30 Pakistani agriculture scientists, selected from all the four provinces. Besides they will also impart training to the members of the provincial field extension departments on hybrid rice cultivation. They would also organize road-shows and field visits across the rice-growing areas to address the issues and challenges in promotion of hybrid rice seed. In this regard a inaugural ceremony was held at National Agriculture Research Center, which was attended by the Special Assistant to Prime Minister, Nasir Iqbal Bosal, Agriculture and Economic Councilor of Chines Embassy Dr Wang and Chief Executive Officer of Yaun Longping Hi-tech Company limited China. The Ministry of Commerce Peoples Republic of China is the main sponsor of the initiative, where as Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) and Agriculture Innovation Programme are also collaborating in promoting the hybrid seed technologies. Addressing the event, Chines Agriculture and Economic Councilor said that it was the first bilateral initiative, aiming to enhance per acre rice yield by promoting hybrid rice techniques in Pakistan. Under the programme, he said that private sector companies of both the countries would cooperate to promote the hybrid rice production that would almost double the per acre crop yield. He further said that hybrid rice technologies would help to enhance per acre crop output, besides increasing farm income and reduce the poverty. The hybrid rice technology would also bring revolution in Pakistani Basmati rice production, which was famous all over the world for it taste and aroma. Addressing the event CEO of Yaun longping High-Tech Agriculture Company Limited China said that the training course was designed in accordance with the requirements of local farmers. She said that the training course would include lectures and field visits for active participation of local farming community for the better results. Speaking on the occasion, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Food Security said that government was determined to promote agri-sector of the country.
He informed that rice crop was cultivated over 2.7 million hectares and was the second major staple food crop of the country, adding that the Chines expertise would help to enhance the local crop output significantly. He hoped that the bilateral cooperation in agri-sector would bring the positive results and further enhance the crop output by minimizing the inputs. Speaking on the occasion Chairman PARC stressed the need for bringing innovation and introducing mechanized farming to make the local produces more competitive in international markets. He said currently Pakistan was surplus wheat, rice, sugarcane, maize and potato,adding that these products were comparatively costly due to use of conventional agri-technologies. Meanwhile, Member Plant Sciences Dr Anjum Ali informed that the aim of the training course on hybrid rice was to educate the local farming community about the hybrid technology and seed selection for achieving maximum per acre yield.