MURREE, (Pakistan Point News - APP -24th Augst,2016) : The Crop Disease Research Institute (CDRI) has been playing vital role in ensuring food security in the country by timely detecting wheat crop diseases through its state-of-the-art laboratory established here since 1960. The institute is a unique and first research facility in the country which had played a key role in 1960s to bringing green revolution in Pakistan and it became first country in the world where green revolution took place.
"The institute releases two to three new wheat varieties every year and so far over 100 wheat varieties has been released to increase disease resistance in the wheat crop which ultimately helps in enhancing wheat production with a minimum input cost", Dr. Javed Iqbal Mirza, Principal Scientific Officer and Incharge of the Institute told a group of media persons who visited the laboratory here on Wednesday. He said the institute had helped in protecting wheat diseases, contributing to ensure food security, sharing rust data, curtailing Ug99, collecting and testing wheat diseases samples, genetic stock analysis to identify gene having resistance.
He claimed that the institute was the only facility of its kind in the whole South Asian region which shares its research outcomes not only within the country but also with all agriculture scientists around the world which helps in curtailing the diseases in time and producing new disease resistant varieties. "Not only Pakistani breeders and pathologists visit the institute in a bid to get training and to avail the state-of-the-art lab facility but also numerous international pathologists and scientists visit the institute and stay here for as long as they wish.
He said these were the efforts of this institute that Pakistan had become self sufficient in wheat and the wheat growers were also taking benefit by utilizing the new varieties of wheat seed produced by the institute. Dr Javed informed that the work had been started even before partition of Pakistan and India for the set up of this program. In 1958 it was started as cereal diseases research station at Karachi and considering the hot climatic conditions of Karachi and following the example of Indian rust lab in Shimla, the station was moved to Murree Hills in 1960, he added.
Earlier the group of journalists whose visit was arranged by Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) also visited Rawal Watershed Field Station at Satrameel. During visit to PARC Rawal Watershed Field Station at Satrameel, the media persons witnessed various research and development activities at the station. Dr. Ghani Akbar, Senior Engineer and Project Incharge of the Station briefed them that the Station was one of the field sites of PARC that stretched over over an area of 47 acres of land with 42 acres covered with forest trees and five acres covered with high value agriculture.
Various soil and water conservation practices including biological measures (forest, land cover), engineering measures (loose rock check dams, rainwater harvesting ponds, gabion netted structures, groundwater recharge through dug wells, solar and gravity driven high efficiency irrigation systems), livelihood improvement interventions (fruit plants, off-season vegetables using tunnel farming, nursery raising, cereal crops) have been demonstrated at this site. The station is frequently used for capacity building training, visits and field days.