ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) has developed 6 commercial varieties of beans, which will be available for general cultivation and help in reducing the reliance on imported pulses.
PARC Chairman Dr Ghulam Muhammad Ali stated this while addressing an event jointly organised by PARC and Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) to mark World Pulses Day.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ali said that these bean varieties will be the first commercial varieties produced in Pakistan, adding that pulses cultivation at national level will reduce food import bill and help in sustainable agriculture development in the country.
The PARC under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) launched a five years project to increase the production capacity of pulses and research, he said adding that the scope of the project was to increase the national average production of pulses including chickpea, mung bean, mash, lentils and beans by 30 percent to reduce the production gap and increase farm profit.
He said the council was also making efforts through training workshops, seminars for promotion of pulses and increased production capacity, which will increase local output by 15-20 percent every year.
The availability of 4,000 local and foreign lines of different pulses will be ensured for the development of high-yielding variety, he said and added that due to the hard work and efforts of local scientists, the production of pulses, especially mung beans has improved.
Dr Mohammad Mansoor, National Coordinator (Pulses) said that another achievement of this project was to promote bean cultivation in the country and 6 varieties of beans have been developed for general cultivation in the country.
Dr Shahid Riaz Malik, Programme Leader, Department of Pulses said that expansion of area in Balochistan for cultivation of pulses was one of the main objectives of this project, adding that the area under mash increased by 1,482 acres, chickpea by 2,717 acres and lentils by 247 acres.
On World Pulses Day (April 10), various agricultural research institutes also set up exhibition stalls and showcased high-yielding pulses seeds, pulses cultivation technology and various value added products.