Pakistan warned against deadly wheat pest

The Internati­onal Maize and Wheat Impro­vement Centre (CIMMYT) has cautioned Pakistan to take steps to offer protection to its plants from the ‘fall armyworm’ (FAW), a devastating pest that has been identified for the first time on the Indian subcontinent.

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Director-General, CIMMYT, Dr Martin Kropff, now visiting Pakistan, held a meeting with Minister for National Food Security and Research Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan on Thursday and offered cooperation of the Mexico-based organisation in tackling the prevalent risk of FAW in Pakistan.

“We want that our future cooperation in this regard must continue, and Pakistan may not only ensure a prompt surveillance system but also bring more disease-resistant varieties of wheat and maize,” Dr Martin said.

Native to the Americas, the pest is understood to eat over 80 plant species, with a specific preference for maize, a prime staple crop world wide.

The fall armyworm was once first officially reported in Nigeria in West Africa in 2016, and rapidly unfold throughout 44 nations in sub-Saharan Africa. Sightings of damage to maize plants in India because of ‘fall armyworm’ mark the primary record of the pest in Asia.

The pest has the possible to unfold briefly no longer best within India, but in addition to different neighbouring countries in Asia, owing to appropriate climatic stipulations, in line with a pest alert revealed by means of the National Bureau of Agricultural Research, a part of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.

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Dr Martin stated that CIMMYT is amazed at the remarkable luck of wheat programme in Pakistan. Director CIMMYT’s Global Wheat Programme, Hans Braun emphasised the need to be cognisant of securing the centered yield in wheat as the global local weather trade may pose a really perfect challenge and one Celsius drop in temperature all over the evening time would possibly lower seven according to cent of wheat yield, hence with aggregate of clever interventions and good subsidies, huge ends up in meals safety could be achieved.
Mr Mehboob Sultan appreciated the contributions of CIMMYT in Pakistan since the green revolution and stated that the existing government used to be bold for the revival of agriculture and breakthrough in agro-research.

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