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U.S. and Pakistan Scientists Cooperate to Increase Wheat Production

Date Posted: September 18, 2012

Murree—Two high-level American scientists travelled to Pakistan to work with Pakistani scientists and farmers to combat plant diseases, which can significantly damage Pakistan’s wheat crop, causing losses in income and a threat to food supplies.

American and Pakistani scientists, in coordination with the Pakistan Agricultural Research Commission (PARC), provincial agricultural research centers, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), and the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA), conducted a series of workshops and meetings this week to address problems affecting wheat productivity and to assess the progress of the U.S. government-sponsored Wheat Productivity Enhancement Program (WPEP).

Speaking to Pakistani scientists at a research lab in Murree, Dr. Kay Walker Simmons, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service said, “Wheat is the center of Pakistani life as a food staple and a source of livelihood for many rural communities.

"The WPEP is an example of how American and Pakistani scientists are collaborating to find a seed resistant to infectious wheat diseases.

"Our work together helps Pakistani farmers spend less money on wheat seeds and ultimately leads to increased incomes and wheat yield for farming communities throughout Pakistan.”

American and Pakistani agricultural scientists regularly collaborate on research to combat diseases affecting Pakistan’s principal crops, especially cotton and wheat.

These scientific collaborations are part of the broader U.S. effort to help Pakistan boost agricultural productivity.

In addition, as Pakistan benefits from scientific advancements that result from this collaboration, U.S. efforts to improve linkages between producers and distribution networks provide greater market access for agricultural products both nationally and internationally.

The end result is improved income for farmers across Pakistan.

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