ISLAMABAD - National Agriculture Research Center (NARC) was introducing average three to four high yielding seed verities of wheat every year in order to enhance per-acre crop output to maintain food security and safety by tackling with the growing demands of staple foods as well as to export for attracting the huge foreign exchange for the country.

Being the premier national research institute of the country, NARC was engage in research and developmental activities and it had also prepared high yielding seed verities of other crops including maize, cotton, oil seeds, where as it had also developed the hybrid seed verities of bananas, potatoes and tomatoes in order to produce exportable surplus for the country, said NARC Director General Dr Ghulam Muhammad Ali.

Besides, the research institute has also developed three new verities of potatoes and developed a gene bank comprising upon over 36,000 germplasm of different crops to produce seed verities to enhance per-acre crop output in the country, he said while briefing the media about the progress and development made so far in research and development fields at NARC.

He said that due to scientific research and introduction of innovative technologies of crop sowing, efficient use of irrigation technologies, which were developed and designed as according to the local requirements, the country was surplus in all serial food crops including wheat, rice, maize, sugarcane and all other seasonal fruits and vegetables.

He said besides providing technical assistance to thousands of farmers, about 32,000 tons of canola hybrid seed were distributed among the farmers to increase oil seed production in the country and save the foreign exchange reserves spent on the import of the commodity.

He informed that the research center in collaboration with international development partners and agencies had prepared disease resistant, drought resilient seed verities of wheat and hybrid rice and cotton to enhance the their yield and increase the farm income.

Several steps have been taken in order to introduce climate smart agriculture technologies to minimize the cost of inputs and maximize output in the country and make many interventions in different fields by engaging the farming community to adopt these interventions, he added.

Dr Ali said that due to interventions in honey bee keeping by the NARC, honey worth Rs one billion were exported to middle eastern countries including UAE, Saudi Arabia and many other countries, where as first ever meat testing laboratory was also established in the research station to check the quality and standard of the imported meat.

He said that besides dissemination of research results to end users, about 35 researchers have completed their P.hd programme, 154 M Phil and about 500 students were on internship.

He said that NARC in collaboration with the private sector has also introduced high efficiency solar irrigation technologies for small and large land holdings across the country.