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AIP-maize establishes public-private variety evaluation network in Pakistan

By AbduRahman Beshir Issa/CIMMYT

The maize component of the recently launched Agricultural Innovation Program (AIP) for Pakistan has created a public-private network to evaluate CIMMYT international trials of white and yellow kernel hybrids and OPVs including conventionally developed bio-fortified maize.

Faisal Hayat, R&D manager of Jullundur Private Ltd. (right), and AbduRahman Beshir Issa during a maize evaluation at JPL. Photos: AbduRahman Beshir

Seven types of maize trials consisting of different maturity groups, various tolerances to water stress and enhanced levels of protein quality were introduced from CIMMYT Colombia, Mexico and Zimbabwe and distributed to five private seed companies, six public research institutes and two universities for evaluation during the spring season (February-June). The preliminary evaluation during seed setting showed good performance of introduced materials, and a number of entries are showing strong selection potential.

The testing will continue in the summer season (July-November) with additional varieties and partners to check seasonal variations on the performance of the varieties. The AIP is funded by the USAID Feed the Future Initiative and collaborators receive grants to conduct variety evaluation and other project activities. This approach will strengthen the public-private partnership and ensure accelerated diffusion of improved maize cultivars to the smallholders at an affordable price. In addition, partners will enrich their gene pool and enhance their breeding program through the acquisition of CIMMYT maize germplasm.

Maize evaluation at MMRI.

AIP maize trials distributed to public and private partners in Pakistan (Spring 2014)

Partner institution/center No. of trials

  • Maize and Millet Research Institute (MMRI): 4
  • Cereal Crops Research Institute (CCRI): 5
  • National Agricultural Research Institute (NARC): 7
  • Jullundur Private Ltd (JPL): 3
  • Four Brothers Seed company (4B group): 3
  • Ali Akbar Group: 2
  • ICI Pakistan Ltd: 2
  • Petal Seed Company (PSC): 1
  • Agricultural Research Institute – Balochistan/Quetta: 1
  • Agricultural Research Institute- Tandojam (ARIT)-Sindh: 1
  • Agricultural Research Institute- Gilgit Biltistan: 1
  • University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF): 1
  • University of Agriculture Peshawar (UAP): 1