Pakistan’s wheat production expected to grow this year, thanks to China’s assistance

The production of wheat, Pakistan’s most important crop, is expected to rise with Sino-Pak cooperation this year, according to China’s Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences (YAAS).

Yunnan and Pakistan have similarities in climate, wheat variety characteristics, cultivation conditions, meanwhile confronted with shared challenges including stripe rust, drought, high temperature, etc. Therefore, both wheat varieties and technologies can be directly applied to each other, Luo Yanjie, Head of YAAS International Cooperation Division, told CEN.

Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences (YAAS) and Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) started cooperation in 2014. They have been closely cooperating in food crop, cash crop, plant protection, biotechnology and socio-economic development for more than seven years.

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In 2016, two among fourteen Chinese wheat DH varieties introduced to Pakistan entered the country’s regional test. Simultaneously, ten Pakistani wheat varieties were brought to China, among which three anti-stripe rust varieties were selected. Especially, in 2017, via China National Seed Group Co., Ltd., Yunnan Hybrid Wheat No. 12 variety was grown in Pakistan on a trial basis. Results showed a 32% increase in production compared with local varieties.

Academically, through cooperative research, the two sides have jointly published four SCI papers and publications on drought relief, rust disease, and hybrid wheat, etc.

The exchanges of agricultural experts between Yunnan and Pakistan also have been playing an important role in enhancing agricultural cooperation. So far, 10 Pakistani scientists from PARC and University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, etc. came to Yunnan for joint agricultural research.

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After they returned to Pakistan, they have been continuously contributing to Pakistan’s agricultural development and Sino-Pak agricultural cooperation.
This year, three Pakistani young scientists will arrive in Yunnan later for further research, which comprises nearly one third of the total overseas scientists who have been approved to come to YAAS.

Next, by establishing joint laboratory and joint research center, the two sides will further strengthen advanced Chinese wheat breeding technology, wheat disease prevention and control technology’s application in Pakistan to help improve mutual food security.

Through fully tap and utilize both China and Pakistan’s wheat gene characteristics, we will further consolidate the joint research of wheat breeding especially resistance breeding such as disease resistance, insect resistance, drought resistance and lodging resistance, high-yield breeding, and multi-functional breeding, etc., Luo said.

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