On 22 December 2012, two agricultural research organizations in Pakistan — National Agricultural Research Center, Islamabad, and Wheat Research Institute (WRI) Faisalabad, Punjab — received new Wintersteiger combine harvester and seeding machines from the Wheat Production Enhancement Program for Pakistan (WPEP) funded by USDA and implemented by CIMMYT in an effort to upgrade Pakistan’s wheat research infrastructure. Until now, the institutes were relying on old harvesting and planting machines which could no longer satisfy their research needs. Makhdoom Hussain, WRI Faisalabad director, expressed his gratitude regarding the purchase: “The replacement of old irreparable machines was much needed. It will build the Institute’s capacity to precisely design and conduct experiments.”
CIMMYT-Pakistan provided support in purchasing and importing these machines as part of its commitment to increase efficiency and productivity of Pakistan’s national programs. Imtiaz Muhammad, CIMMYT-Pakistan, commented: “These modern and flexible plot-combine and tractormounted seeders are packed with enough bells and whistles to satisfy the most demanding research team and challenging work environments. It shows that CIMMYT is really committed to upgrading the capacity of the national programs to deliver pro-poor farmer technologies.” Yaqub Mujahid, national wheat coordinator, added that “the Wintersteiger tractor mounted XL heavy plot seeder is another valuable addition to the National Coordinated Wheat Program machinery and equipment lot, as it is designed and developed for precise sowing of wheat experimental plots in field research.”
WPEP for Pakistan is a USDA-financed and CIMMYT-implemented program cooperating with Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), the Government of Pakistan, International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA), 11 other national partner institutes in Pakistan, and 3 institutes in the US. Infrastructure improvement is one of the key components of the program.