BEIJING: The International Symposium of Silk Road Wheat Innovation Alliance 2023 was held at Northwest A&F University in Yangling, China.
The conference is of great significance in deepening cooperation between China and Pakistan in the wheat sector.
The symposium was attended by more than 160 scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs from 6 countries including China, Pakistan and Turkey, who engaged in academic exchanges on key issues such as wheat germplasm resource innovation, genetic breeding research, digitization and mechanization of agriculture, farming with crops in climate change and the trend of international wheat trade.
Several Pakistani experts have shared their research findings on the event. Professor Zahid Akram of Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan, who is also the Vice Chairman of the first board of the Silk Road Wheat Innovation Alliance, gave a speech entitled Status of Wheat in Pakistan. “Approximately 80% of farmers in Pakistan are engaged in wheat production, occupying nearly 40% of the country’s agricultural land. The importance of wheat production in Pakistan cannot be overstated.” He also expressed optimism about the prospects of cooperation with Silk Road Wheat Innovation Alliance member countries.
Karim Bux Laghari, a researcher at the Wheat Research Institute in Sindh Province, Pakistan, produced an academic report titled Innovative Solutions for Future Food Security: A Collaborative Approach to Wheat Productivity Challenges.
He highlighted various reasons for limited wheat production in Pakistan, including low yield potential of seed varieties, poor management, high temperatures, drought and severe rust damage.
The diligent efforts of Chinese wheat experts working in Pakistan have received high praise from Pakistani experts. Covering a vast area of approximately 3,000-5,000 hectares, the Chinese hybrid wheat demonstration fields have demonstrated exceptional performance in key wheat producing areas across Pakistan.
China’s recent successes in hybrid wheat breeding, including the cultivation of saline-tolerant wheat varieties, have also laid a solid foundation for enhanced cooperation between China and Pakistan in the wheat sector.
After the symposium, the participants visited affiliated units of the alliance, such as Shaanxi Jinshahe Group, a well-known noodle manufacturer, and Yangling Smart Agriculture Park.
Professor Zahid Akram highly praised the achievements in automated processing, comprehensive and efficient management of Jinshahe Group and smart farming practices in Yangling.
He expressed the hope that the advantages of the alliance will be used to strengthen the integration of industry, academia and research, thereby promoting the development of the wheat industry. —APP