Govt working to mitigate effects of drought on agriculture: Senate told

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ISLAMABAD, April 12 (APP): Minister for National Food Security and
Research Sikandar Hayat Bosan Wednesday informed the Senate that the government was working to mitigate the effects of drought on agriculture
by introducing high yielding drought tolerant varieties in the country.
Replying to a question in the House, he said under the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Pakistan Agricultural Reserach Council (PARC) had close collaboration with provincial research institutes to work on different areas of the agricultural research, including impact of drought on agriculture sector.
He said several actions had been taken in collaboration with
provincial governments, including acquisition and provision of drought tolerant germ plasma (local and exotic) to develop new varieties of different crops.
Those included identification and incorporation of drought tolerant
genes through molecular approached in different crops, development of improved varieties and hybrids through conventional breeding for
drought and heat tolerance, commercial release of high yielding varieties and hybrids resistant to various biotic stresses, and the development of production technologies for moisture conservation through use of zero tillage drill to plant wheat in rice area helps planting wheat in time.
The minister said dry seeding of rice saved 15-20 percent water use while planting wheat on raised bed/ridge planting saved up to 10-20 percent water.
He said low delta crops like oilseed crops, sorghum, millet and pulses crops in arid climate were introduced.
The minister said ‘Climate Change, Alternate Energy and Water
Resources Institute’ was established at NARC to devise strategies to mitigate the adverse effect of climate change and low water availability
on crops productivity.