Hybrid wheat expected to bring revolution in Pakistani agriculture sector
BEIJING, Feb. 28 (Gwadar Pro)-”We have submitted our hybrid wheat varieties to Pakistan’s government for approval. Once we gain approval, we will start production of hybrid wheat in Pakistan in collaboration with Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences (BAAFS). We hope that like hybrid rice, hybrid wheat will also bring a revolution in the agriculture sector of Pakistan’, said Mr. Malik Ali, CEO of Guard Group, an agricultural giant in Pakistan.
Up to now, five research stations have been established and field work has been carried out on high yielding varieties that are tolerant to heat, drought, and salinity. “We have finalized four hybrid wheat varieties so far we have achieved about 40 % increase in yield of wheat that we breed”, introduced Mr. Malik Ali.
On hybrid agricultural varieties, Guard Group has a successful model of its own to follow after. The company is the largest producer of hybrid rice in Pakistan. Since 2002, it has been working together with Yuan Longping High-tech Agriculture Co., Ltd., a Chinese seed group named after the renowned pioneer researcher in hybrid rice Yuan Longping, for research, production and commercialization of hybrid rice in Pakistan. Now, the hybrid rice seeds have been able to reach the international market.
“Pakistan has experienced a revolution of rice with the hybrid technology from China as our companies are exporting rice to almost 48 countries in the world. Pakistan earns about $2.04 billion of foreign exchange from hybrid rice export”, shared Mr. Malik Ali.
Mr. Malik hopes to apply the experience of hybrid rice to hybrid wheat. “Hopefully, in next 2 years, we will bring about a revolution in wheat crop”.
Wheat is a staple food that has an important bearing on national food security. According to a report by China Pakistan Agricultural and Industrial Cooperation Platform (CPAIC), in 2020, the BAAFS-Guard experimental wheat base in Pakistan was greeted with a bumper harvest. Compared with the best local wheat variety, Beijing hybrid wheat features 90% less seeds sown and 20% more yield. This can help Pakistan save plentiful land for planting other agricultural products, which is of great significance to food security in Pakistan.
“We choose to cooperate with China because it is a leading country in the world in terms of agricultural production and technology. Besides, the second phase of CPEC with agriculture sector as one of its focuses will provide more opportunities in joint research and bilateral trade of agri products”, Mr. Malik told Gwadar Pro reporter.
“Besides rice and wheat, we are also collaborating in hybrid maize and cotton with Yuan Longping High-tech Agriculture Co., Ltd. For this course, we are looking for reliable partners to do research and commercial production”, Mr. Malik added.