ISLAMABAD, Mar 8 (APP): Current wheat crop is in good shape without having any major disease threat, race UG-99 is now widespread in wheat growing areas of Kenya and Ethiopia, causing significant losses to wheat crop.
A spokesman of Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (Minfal) in a statement here Friday clarified that according to recent news released by CIMMYT-CARDA the existence of UG-99 has been confirmed in Sudan, Yemen and Iran.
“This race is expected to migrate further to Middle East, West Asia and eventually to South Asia now spread up to Western Iran”, he said.
He informed that Pakistan is an active partner of the global efforts to control rust threats to wheat and has been involved in joint research activities carried out by regional and international research institutions.
The spokesman said that both long term and short term strategies have been adopted to combat the potential threat of stem rust is found in southern parts of the country which is not a major threat to our wheat crop.
He said that the wheat material available in Pakistan is continuously being tested in Kenya to screen and identify the resistant genes to be incorporated in domestic wheat varieties.
Efforts are also on at federal and provincial levels by the wheat research institutes for development of resistant varieties against stem rust race UG-99, he informed.
He said Minfal has already provided additional funding to the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) to strengthen wheat rust research capacities.