ISLAMABAD - Members of the Provincial Collaborative Units of Wheat Coordination have stressed the need to educate farmers for better production of wheat and other crops.

In a meeting held here on Saturday, Dr Muhammad Munir, Member (Plant Science Devision) PARC, urged the scientists to guide farmers to use certified and disease resistant varieties for better production.

He also stressed the scientists to share their knowledge and experience, coordination in germplasm, varietial testing/release, joint research planning and HR development.

Dr Attiq-ur-Rehman Rattu, National Coordinator (Wheat) PARC, delivered detailed presentation about wheat research and development in Pakistan. He said that total wheat production in the world is 600 million tones with an average of 2700 kg per hectare.

He elaborated the research in Pakistan and low production reasons of wheat. He gave a mechanism of coordination recently revitalized by PARC.

All wheat experts across the country participated in the meeting. They discussed the operational coordination mechanism of National Agricultural Research System (NARS) in current scenario. They also suggested that there is need to educate the farmers regarding the production of good and healthy seed. In the meeting, the current situation of wheat crop was discussed. Dr. Makhdoom, Director (WRI) Faisalabad, and Dr. Anjum (CDRI) suggested that Seher-2006 is susceptible to leaf rust especially when it is planted early, so it needs gradual replacement with other approved varieties tolerant to leaf rust.

Dr Nasir Mahmood Cheema, PSO/Director PARC, highlighted the issues of storage of certified seed during current season. Dr Manzoor Hussain, Botanist (RARI) Bahawalpur, told that 30% seed of the requirement is certified seed while 70% farmers own and farmers to farmer seed.

There are two reasons for shortage of certified wheat seed during current sowing season. Last year the farm own and farmer to farmer seed was used and crop was affected by rust attack on maximum area. Now farmers are more vigilant and they preferred to purchase the certified seed.