A group of Chinese agriculture experts, comprising 12 hybrid rice scientists, arrived to train local scientist and farmers on hybrid rice cultivation technologies to improve per acre crop productivity.

About 30 Pakistani agriculture scientists, selected from all the four provinces will be trained by Chinese scientists and provincial field extension departments on hybrid rice cultivation.

Road-shows and field visits have been organized across the rice-growing areas to address challenges in promotion of hybrid rice seed.

Ceremony was held at National Agriculture Research Center, attended by Nasir Iqbal Bosal Special Assistant to Prime Minister, Dr. Wang Agriculture and Economic Counselor of Chinese Embassy and Yaun Longping Chief Executive Officer of Hi-tech Company limited China.

The Ministry of Commerce Peoples Republic of China has sponsored the initiative while Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) and Agriculture Innovation Programme have collaborated in promoting hybrid seed technologies.

Chinese Agriculture and Economic Councilor said that this bilateral initiative aimed to enhance per acre rice yield by promoting hybrid rice techniques in Pakistan. Private sector companies of both the countries would also cooperate in this regard.

He further said that hybrid rice technologies will increase per acre crop output, revolutionize Pakistani Basmati rice production, besides increasing farm income and reduce the poverty.

CEO of Yaun longping High-Tech Agriculture Company said that the training was designed as per requirements of local farmers containing lectures and field visits for active participation of farmers.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Food Security said that government was determined to promote agri-sector of the country. He informed that rice crop was cultivated over 2.7 million hectares, Chinese expertise would help to enhance the local crop output.

Chairman PARC stressed on innovation and mechanized farming to make the local products more competitive in international markets. Although Pakistan was surplus in wheat, rice, sugarcane, maize, and potato, products are costly due to conventional agri-technologies.

Dr. Anjum Ali, Member Plant Sciences informed that training course on hybrid rice was to educate the local farmers about the hybrid technology and seed selection to get maximum per acre yield.