ISLAMABAD -Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) has developed two high-yielding and disease-resistant banana varieties that would help to achieve maximum output, besides enhancing farm income. The seed varieties have been developed in National Institute for Genomics and Advance Biotechnology (NIGAB), said Dr Ghulam Muhammad Ali, Member Plant Sciences of PARC. He said that banana is cultivated over an area of 80,000 acres in Pakistan and as per Food and Agriculture Organization statistics its per acre yield is less than India and China which produces more than 10 tons per acre. The reasons behind this low yield are unavailability of high yielding banana varieties and certified disease free planting materials, he said, adding that PARC has developed two banana varieties NIGAB-1 and NIGAB-2, which have been approved for commercial cultivation by Sindh Seed Council. He informed that approval for commercial cultivation was given in 34th meeting Sindh Seed Council, which had met under the chairmanship of Minister of Agriculture and Supplies Ismail Rahu. Agriculture Minister of Sindh also appreciated the efforts of PARC to increase banana production in the country, he said, adding that these are first ever banana varieties registered in the history of country. These varieties are high yielding and have more shelf life which is a key requirement for export. Dr Ali added that NIGAB institute and its team is working in innovative research and different high-tech areas for product development to boost agriculture sector.