The University of Agriculture Faisalabad will have a state-of-the-art Seed Centre, first of its kind, aims at producing heat-tolerant and maximum yield potential seed varieties amid climate changes and conduct valuables researches to ensure food security in the country.

These views were expressed by UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan while talking to a delegation of AVRDC-The World Vegetable Centre South Asia headed by Regional Director Dr Warwick Easdown.

Dr Iqrar informed the distinguished guests that the UAF had initiated construction work of the centre after the approval of the university Syndicate, adding that a comprehensive plan had been mapped out to complete the development work within the stipulated time.

 He said that under the multi-disciplinary approach, the centre will pave ways for the seed development and mechanization; marketing, and value chain. Different departments of the university including Horticulture, Agri Engineering, Agronomy and Plant Breeding will work together for the said cause, the VC maintained.

He told the visiting delegation that farmers were suffering at the hands of some mal-practitioners in the seed sector. He added that the Seed Industry was inefficient, lagging behind to cater to the need of the farming community. Dr Iqrar pointed out that it was one of the hurdles to tap the full potential and called for implementing the Seed Act in letter and spirit to providing quality seed to farming community. He said that usage of pesticide was showing stagnant trend for the last many years because of BT Cotton seed. He also said the UAF had started a degree programme in seed sciences to produce manpower for the respective field.

On the occasion, Dr Warwick Easdown said that his organisation was actively working in India and Bangladesh and they were expanding their network to Pakistan as well. He added that his organisation would ink a memorandum of understandings with UAF to work together in vegetable, Integrated Pest Management, plant breeding etc. He said that the working with universities remained also pleasure for them which brought tangible results in term of quality research, manpower etc.

AVRDC-The World Vegetable Programme Leader Dr Mansab Ali, AVRDC Vegetable Breeder Dr Ramakrishnan, UAF Dean Agriculture Prof Dr Muhammad Arshad, Director Horticulture Dr Aslam Pervez, Director External Linkages Dr Ashfaq Ahmad Chatta, Endowment Fund Executive Director Dr Zahir Ahmad Zahir and Dr Irfan Afzal were present on the occasion.