ISLAMABAD - Maize Variety Evaluation Committee (VEC) of Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) has recommended nine maize hybrids for commercial cultivation in the country. It includes 6 yellow and 3 white hybrids and one white OP variety of maize and two 2 S.S hybrids (as fodder). Four recommended varieties belong to multinational and four to National Seed Companies. One maize hybrid (Fakhray-e-NARC), one OP variety of Maize (NARC-White) and two S.S Hybrids of fodder belongs to PARC.

The Variety Evaluation Committee (VEC) meeting on Maize was held here at PARC Headquarters under the chairmanship of Member Crops Sciences Division, Dr. Shahid Masood. Twenty five member of maize VEC committee from the National Agricultural Research System (NARS) of the country including Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) attended the meeting. Maize breeder, agronomist, entomologist, entomologist, pathologist, seed technologist, representatives of the Federal Seed Certification & Registration Department (FSC&RD), Private Seed Companies, FAO International Seed Act Consultant and Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFS&R) were present in the VEC meeting. Dr Shahid Masood said that new varieties and technology will help agriculture to be developed.

Total 18 proposals including 14 hybrids, one OP maize variety and three Sorghum Sudan Grass (SS) Hybrids were presented by the respected multinational & national seed companies and public research institute in the meeting.

After detailed discussion on each presentation, the committee recommended nine varieties for commercial cultivation in the country. Committee rejected five maize hybrids that belong to seed companies due to their poor yield performance. With the addition of these new recommended nine hybrids & one OP variety of maize, and two S.S hybrids of fodder in the national system of the country there will witness a significant improvement in maize and fodder production in Pakistan. The S.S fodder hybrids belong to PARC are high yielding with wider adaptability. They will be available at cheaper cost and provide means to import substitute for fodder seeds which currently is costing huge foreign exchange.