The Wheat Productivity Enhancement Program (WPEP) held a training course on national seed technology, organized by CIMMYT in partnership with Pakistan’s Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department (FSC&RD), on 10-12 September 2015 in Islamabad.
During the opening session, CIMMYT Country Representative Imtiaz Muhammad informed the participants on the WPEP’s mandate for accelerated wheat seed multiplication of rust resistant varieties including stem rust resistant varieties with a focus on Ug99, its constraints, and early generation seed multiplication of newly released varieties.
The training covered variety maintenance including head rows, progeny rows, progeny blocks, breeder seed production, variety registration, seed multiplication of pre-basic, basic, and certified seed, plant breeders’ rights, seed enterprises and up-scaling of varieties resistant to Ug99 and other rusts.
The course was attended by 60 participants including seed certification officers, seed analysts, and seed growers, as well as representatives of public and private seed companies, agriculture training institutes, the agriculture extension department, and research institutes. Also in attendance were women seed analysts from the seed regulatory department.
Accelerated seed multiplication of pre-release varieties is needed to produce seeds of varieties resistant to Ug99 and other rusts and deliver them to the farming community. WPEP facilitates the screening of wheat breeding lines for both seedling and adult plant resistance to Ug99. This training will enable the participants to better assist wheat breeders during variety maintenance activities and accelerated pre-basic seed multiplication and will provide a sound base for multiplying basic and certified seed. Participants also held extensive discussions on quality seed production, improved agronomic practices, seed diseases, seed storage, and seed handling during transport.
CIMMYT-WPEP has already provided pre-basic and basic seed to public seed corporations, private seed companies, and farmers throughout the country in order to have large quantities of quality seed available, with the expectation that seed certification will be arranged locally. This training will facilitate testing of crop and seed purity, which is required for crop and seed certification.
At the closing, Seerat Asghar, Federal Secretary, Ministry of National Food Security and Research, and FSC&RD Director General Shakeel Ahmad Khan acknowledged CIMMYT’s continuous contributions and its cooperation in holding such a valuable training course in Pakistan. These types of courses create awareness of variety maintenance and early generation seed multiplication, which are essential for achieving sound certified seed production in Pakistan.