All efforts to be made to promote latest tech innovation for crop’s continued growth: Minister

ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Dr Kausar Abdullah Malik on Wednesday said that maize is a strategic crop with respect to the national food security needs.

He said the Ministry will make all efforts to promote the latest technological innovation and provide an enabling policy for the crop’s continued growth. He expressed these views during a meeting with the Crop Life Pakistan delegation.

Crop Life Pakistan delegation apprised the Minister of his contribution to the seed sector, in particular Maize, where over the past two decades yields have grown four-fold and overall production has increased from a little over one million metric tons to an impressive 10.5 million metric tons in 2022/23.

The Minister said that various steps have been taken to this end, including the enactment and implementation of Plant Breeders Rights Act, DNA finger printing to ensure transparency in intellectual right protection of seed companies and independent breeders, and streamlining of operating standards for seed companies to improve overall quality of seed research and supply.

The Crop Life representatives further added that its member companies collectively market more than 80% of Pakistan’s hybrid maize seed and have invested significantly towards introducing the latest high-yielding hybrids and farmer education programs.