NA Body hails PARC role to promote agriculture in Thar’s dessert

ISLAMABAD (APP): National Assembly Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research
Thursday lauded the steps taken by Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) to promote and increase agriculture productivity in arid areas of Tharparker .
The council conducted an exposure visit of the members of National Assembly Standing Committee on National Food Security and Research to acquaint the committee about on-going activities, new interventions, achievements of the PARC’s research establishment namely Arid Zone Research Centre (AZRC) Umerkot.
Mr. Lal Chand Malhi MNA from Umerkot and Parliamentary Secretary on Human Rights, Dr. Javed Humayun Senior Joint Secretary, and Dr. Ghulam Muhammad Ali Chairman PARC, Dr. Muhammad Younis, DG, PARC-SARC Karachi and other high officials also visited different sites.
The members of the committee was informed about agricultural research and development by AZRC which included 60-70 lines of Ispaghol, 34 varieties of date palm including 03 varieties imported from Egypt, 04 grafted Ber varieties, Chilies, Guar, 14 varieties of Guava, mustard, castor bean. The committee was informed about models related to kitchen gardening, vertical gardening, solar power drip irrigation system, pitcher irrigation system and saline water purification system. Medicinal plants like cactus (spiny & spine less), Gugral, Aloe Vera, Imli, Jungle julibi, Khavi and moringa cultivated at institute field were also viewed by the visitors.
While briefing about the on-going activities and future prospects of this PARC established station, Dr. Ghulam Muhammad Chairman PARC also told the delegation that PARC station of AZRC Umerkot is working on the restoration of desert areas of Pakistan. To eliminate drought and turning the barren deserts into grasslands, PARC with the international collaborations, replicating successful agriculture and livestock models. Chairman PARC on the occasion also said that Council was taking all possible steps to increase the productivity of agriculture, livestock, fisheries and vegetables to make farmers of the area self-sufficient.
On the occasion, Dr. Attaullah Khan Director PARC- AZRC Umerkot briefed about institute’s current activities like seed bank, kitchen garden, solar desalination system, drip irrigation system, herbarium block, hydro ponic, agro forestry block at 04 acres, trails and orchard including date palm, grafted ber, falsa, olive, chiku, lemon), fish pond and biogas plant. The Committee members also visited Asia’s largest Chilli Market located in Kunri where they met the representatives of Chilli Market and took notice of their problems particularly about hybrid chilli seed and ensured taking all possible steps to resolve issues related to Chilli seeds.

The Chairman of the Committee also directed to DG Plant Protection Department to visit Chilli area and meet the market committee representatives and address Chilli seed import issues.