Rice, Maize help Pakistan achieve local demand, export earnings, says RRDB Chairman

Shahzad Malik announces Rs 10m each for best rice, cotton & wheat breeders

LAHORE    -    Rice Research and Development Board Punjab (RRDB) Chairman Shahzad Ali Malik Wednesday an­nounced ‘Shafi Malik Plant Breed­ers Award’ of Rs 10 million each for breeders from private and public sector who develops the best quality high yielding seeds of rice, cotton and wheat.

Talking to the media here, Malik stressed the need for immedi­ate steps to increase yield per acre of field crops through the best varieties which is pos­sible by rewarding breeders through a lu­crative incentive pack­age/scheme. Shahzad Ali Malik highlighted that out of five major field crops Rice, Maize, Cot­ton, Wheat and Sugar Cane, only two crops, Rice and Maize performed well due to high yielding varieties with the main contribution of pri­vate sector. He said Rice and Maize helped Pakistan achieve local de­mand, export earnings and import substitution. Going one step forward Shahzad Ali Malik on behalf of the Guard Agricultural Research and Services for first time in the history of private sector made announce­ment of three cash rewards of Rs 10 million each to encourage the breed­ers. He added that breeders may be from the public or private sector whose variety be­comes commercially successful on the basis of at least 10 percent increase in sale and production for three years. However, the incentive would not be for varieties approved on paper only and not being found commer­cially successful. For rice crop this reward is for inbred (open pollinated) and for hybrid varieties with Average Grain Length 8mm or above. This an­nouncement would go a long way to help boost the research and produc­tion of cotton, wheat and rice seed varieties that would bring revolu­tion in increasing per acre yield.

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