Dr Muhammad Ijaz Tabassum - “We, the plant pathologists of Ayub Agricultural Research Institute (AARI), Faisalabad are feeling proud by producing 28,000 kilograms of virus-free seeds of various crops in the province and saving 2.9 million dollars as foreign exchange of the nation”.

This was stated by Muhammad Ayub Kahloon, Director Plant Pathology Research Institute, Faisalabad. He further added that more than 215 fungicides were evaluated and standardized against more than 40 different plants diseases in 19 various crops for day to day use in the Punjab. Mangoes and guava plants are now getting a new life in the farmers’ fields. Farmers are very happy to adopt our integrated management technology, which was developed by our scientists. New chemicals were introduced for better crop protection along with development of disease resistance varieties of different crops and vegetables.

Dr Abid Mahmood, Director General Agriculture (Research) asked the scientists make all-out efforts for serving the nation. “We have to feed not only humans but also livestock and that too with friendly environmental and virus free products.”

The main objective of PPRI (Plant Pathology Research Institute) is to improve economy of the country by increasing agri production through minimizing yield losses by plants diseases. Availability of virus-free potato seed of new varieties to growers along with determination of management techniques for the control of viral diseases of field & horticultural crops are also one of the main goals. To keep the environment friendly and pests (weeds/diseases) at tolerable level are the mega activities of the institute. It is also playing a role in strengthening the linkages between farmers & research organizations by capacity building of Agri Department employees & other stakeholders in modern plant protection techniques.

If books are sufficient for the knowledge seekers, then there is no need to establish universities in the world. Education is the basic requirement for disseminating the knowledge. So, in this regard, training is an integeral part of PPRI, Faisalabad. Up till now, 56 District Officers, 283 Deputy District Officers, 1798 Agriculture Officer/Inspectors, 4356 Field Assistants of Agriculture Extension Wing, 67 master trainers on cotton production/protection technology, 1709 sugar mills personnel and others were trained.

Now, after getting advice of PPRI, farmers are obtaining maximum yield through cultivation of virus free potato seed, by controlling powdery & downy mildew disease on different crops in the field. With the help of new technology developed at the Institute, the diseases effects on crops, vegetables and fruit plants can be reduced and  yield can be increased by 5-10%. With the increased production of crops/vegetables and fruits, farmers standard of living is improving day by day.

Plant pathologists of diverse institutes across the country sit together and share their opinions and ideas at the beginning of Rabi and Kharif crops seasons in the light of environmental changes and field problems of the farmers. Eventually, the annual program of research work is finalized with the opinion of scientists and all stakeholders.

Dr Mukhtar Ahmad Haleemi, Dr Ahamd Saleem (pride of performance) and Dr Mumtaz Hussain are renowned plant pathologists of the country at this mega institute.