LAHORE - Besides achieving self-sufficiency in wheat, Pakistan should also maintain wheat reserves for natural calamities. This was stated by Dr Noor-Ul-Islam, Director General Agri. (Research), AARI, Faisalabad while addressing a meeting of agricultural scientists held on Monday to finalize Annual Research Programme of Wheat 2010-2011. Prominent wheat breeders, agronomists and plant pathologists from all four provinces of the country and Dr Abdul Majid ICARDA representative in Pakistan attended the meeting. Dr Noor-Ul-Islam emphasised the importance of incorporating valuable viewpoint from various quarters while finalising wheat research programme. He drew the attention of agricultural scientists towards the immediate and long-termed challenges being faced during wheat production in the country. Makhdoom Hussan, Director Wheat Research Institute, Faisalabad presented Annual Wheat Research Programme and informed that since 1948 to 2010 wheat production in Pakistan has increased up to 598 percent whereas area has increased upto 129 percent which is a great achievement. He said that Wheat Research Institute, Faisalabad is collaborating with foreign institutions of wheat research like CIMMYT (Mexico), ICARDA (Syria), KARI (Kenya) and other South Asian countries in developing new high yielding wheat varieties. Elaborating Annual Wheat Research Programme he informed that institute is evolving wheat varieties, which could give higher yield under heat stress conditions. Efforts are also being made to develop drought and salt tolerant varieties. The institutes new line resistant to UG99 disease is in pipeline. Previously institute has released (Lasani 2008) UG99 resistant variety. Varieties are also being screened at the institute, which could give higher yield under low and high temperatures. Research work would also be done to determine optimum sowing time and seed rate for different wheat varieties. Effect of micro-nutrients on wheat yield would also be studied in proposed research programme. Scientists offered various suggestions in improving research programme and said that effect of climatic changes should also be studied and a wheat variety should be developed which should possess traits like heat, drought and salt tolerance. Dr Abdul Majid, representative ICARDA appreciated the co-operation among scientists of agricultural research institutions in preparing Annual Wheat Research Programme and hoped that through this cooperation quality of wheat research work would considerably be improved.