United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director John Groarke gave new varieties of maize seed to Pakistani research organizations and private-sector seed companies today at the National Agricultural Research Center in Islamabad. The new varieties of maize were identified and provided by USAID’s Agriculture Innovation Program, in coordination with the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, in an effort to jumpstart the production of quality hybrid maize seed in Pakistan.
“America and Pakistan share the goals of improving the livelihoods of farmers across Pakistan and increasing access to nutritious food for millions of Pakistanis,” Mr. Groarke said. “When America and Pakistan work together, we achieve growth and prosperity, in Pakistan’s agricultural sector and beyond.”
Muhammad Sadiq Tahir, a farmer from Rawalakot, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, commented, “These seeds will improve the quality of my harvest for years to come. I am grateful to the American people for their support of Pakistan’s agricultural development.”
USAID’s Agricultural Innovation Program is a four-year, $30 million initiative designed to increase productivity and incomes in the agricultural sector through the promotion and dissemination of modern production practices for wheat, maize, rice, livestock, fruits, and vegetables. The varieties of maize distributed today are bred to resist drought and heat stresses and have enhanced nutritional quality. They also have increased tolerance to insect attacks and low soil nitrogen.
For more information about the Agricultural Innovation Program, please visit http://aip.cimmyt.org/.