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Jul 7, 2010

Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission Develops 45 New High Yield Pest Resistant Crops

On 7 July 2010 the Pakistan Observer reported that the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) in Islamabad has devoloped 45 new high yield pest resistant crop varieties.  PAEC overseas a handful of agricultural institutes and a biotechnology institute.

"According to official sources, of the total cultivated area in the country, PAEC crop varieties are sown on 60% are in Sindh, 50% in NWFP and 20% of sown area in Punjab."   This includes two varieties of wheat (NIA- Sunhari and NIA-Amber) and one cotton variety (NIA-Ufaq) of Nuclear Institute of Agriculture (NIA) Tandojam.

PAEC has also assisted with the following agricultural practices:

  • manufacturing of non-toxic "bio-fertilizer"
  • reclamation of saline land
  • development of a laser land leveller to reduce the cost of land levelling that in turn reduces the need for crop irrigation.

The article does not detail whether the new PAEC varieties were achieved through traditional hybridization or through genetic engineering technologies.  These 45 new varieties are already commercialized and being planted by farmers so it is most likely that they were developed through traditional hybridization as there has been no reporting on official biotech approvals of such a large number of GM varieties.

For more see related blog: Pakistani Agricultural Experts: The Potential of GE Crops, 23 June 2010.

For the original article see:  "New crop varieties multiply production," Pakistan Observer, 7 July 2010.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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