ISLAMABAD — CIMMYT in collaboration with Pakistan’s National Agricultural Research Center conducted a training course on maize breeding program management and statistical data analysis from 23-27 May 2016 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The training was attended by nearly 40 participants nominated from agricultural universities, public and private institutions across the country. It was the first in its kind to address breeding program management and introduce current software to analyze various phenotypic and genotypic data. This hands-on training will help scientists select varieties suitable for use by Pakistani farmers based on multi-environment datasets.
“Today, crop improvement techniques are getting advanced in each passing day and countries that are investing in cutting-edge science and state-of-the-art technologies not only are self-sufficient, but are leading exporters of their surplus products,” said Chairman of Pakistan’s Agricultural Research Council, Nadeem Amjad.
Amjad emphasized the need to build the capacity of scientists dedicated to fields such as crop modeling, bioinformatics and advanced agricultural statistical software to modernize and enhance agricultural productivity in Pakistan. He thanked CIMMYT for addressing the need that can help maize and wheat researchers to grow in these fields and improve their work.
“Thanks to this training I have analyzed all my data in just two hours. Before this it would have taken me months as I was using less efficient, less user friendly and very old software. This is a real support from CIMMYT and my tasks are greatly simplified,” said Rashad Rashid, a representative from Rafhan Maize Products private company.
Together with CIMMYT Pakistan scientists, the training was conducted by Mateo Vargas Hernandez and Alvarado Beltran Gregorio, consultant and senior data analyst from CIMMYT’s Biometry and Statistical Unit respectively, who are part of the team that developed the software used during the training.
“Sharing statistical software and training of researchers by the very people who were involved in developing the software makes this training unique,” according to Muhammad Azeem Khan, Director General of National Agricultural Research Center, who closed the ceremony.