us_ambassador_richard_olsonSTAFF REPORT IBD: US Ambassador Richard Olson has reaffirmed his country s long-term support to farming communities in Pakistan saying they have been working to support agriculture in Pakistan, introducing the kinnow orange and helping to double Pakistans wheat production.

“Today, we continue our support because improving crop yields, protecting food sources from disease, and boosting milk production will increase farmers incomes, improve nutrition, and ultimately strengthen Pakistans prosperity,” said Olson while addressing a gathering of government officials, researchers, and farmers during his visit to the National Agriculture Research Center (NARC).

He said that his country is committed to helping the small farmers of Pakistan through projects that enhance agricultural productivity.

The Ambassador lauded the progress made by the Wheat Productivity Enhancement Project (WPEP), a USDA programme managed in collaboration with national and provincial research partners that has successfully introduced the UG 99-resistant wheat variety “NARC 2011”.

The introduction of this wheat variety helps protect Pakistan against UG 99, a virulent wheat disease in the region that poses a threat to Pakistans farming community. “Wheat accounts for approximately 60 percent of the daily caloric intake of the average Pakistani, so our joint efforts to combat this disease are critical,” said Ambassador Olson.

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