ISLAMABAD - Use of modern agricultural technologies and innovations can increase the productivity of maize and wheat systems to ensure food security in the country.

Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan, Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research, said this while talking to a delegation of International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) when the latter led by its Director General Dr. Thomas A. Lumpkin called on the minister.

The Federal Minister appreciated CIMMYT’s assistance over the decades in enhancing productivity of cropping systems in Pakistan. The minister also expressed satisfaction over the longstanding partnership between CIMMYT and Government of Pakistan and also appreciated the launch of projects by CIMMYT for crop improvement in Pakistan.

Dr. Thomas A. Lumpkin apprised the gathering that CIMMYT was supporting Maize and Millet Research Institute (MMRI) Sahiwal, Punjab in the development of heat tolerant maize through public-private partnership.

Recently, CIMMYT in collaboration with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) have launched the $30 million project of Pakistan Agricultural Innovation Program (AIP) to expand the use of modern technologies in Pakistan’s agricultural sector.

Dr. Thomas further informed that CIMMYT would like to launch a Hill Maize Research Project in the hilly areas of Pakistan for further growth of maize crop.

The Federal Minister assured of his ministry’s full cooperation and further stated that there was great potential for future partnership and cooperation to meet the growing challenge of climate extremes and soil degradation. The minister also appreciated CIMMYT’s assistance in providing technical training to Pakistani agricultural researchers and scientists.

Seerat Asghar Jaura, Secretary National Food Security, Malik Zahoor Ahmad Director General NAPHIS, Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad Chairman PARC and other senior officers of the ministry were also present in the meeting.