Provision of Additional Research Facilities for Development of Heat Resilient Maize Hybrids at Maize & Millets Research Institute
Introduction & Benefit of The Initiative
In Pakistan, maize is third important cereal crop after wheat and rice. Maize is being grown on an area of 1.318 million hectares with annual production of 6.309 million tons and average being 4,787 kg grains yield per hectare during 2018-19. It contributes 2.5% to the value added in agriculture & 0.5% to GDP of the country. Punjab is major maize growing province of the country having 68 % share in area and 94 % in total production (2018-19). Two-grain crops of maize i.e. spring and autumn are successfully grown in the Punjab. Spring maize is one of the success stories in Pakistan agriculture.
High temperature (above 37.3 °C) is harmful for grain setting of maize crop. During spring season maize crop sown during 2nd fortnight of March after potato crop harvesting, pollination and grain filling stages reaches in May - June when average maximum temperature goes above 40 ˚C that affect pollination and grain filling, ultimately, reduction in yield. Hybrids developed and screened under high temperature conditions will have the ability to tolerate high temperature and naturally will be well adapted to local environment, ultimately, high and stable yields. Development of heat resilient local hybrid and their seed production will make availability of quality seeds at cheaper rates to farmers and will check monopolization of Multinational Companies in the country.
In this project, Maize & Millets Research Institute, Yusafwala (Sahiwal) has developed and got approved one heat tolerant maize hybrid; YH-5427 from Punjab Seed Council during 2019. Another hybrid; YH-5482 is also at final stage of approval. These hybrids will be auctioned to the local seed companies for commercialization through auction system. The Seed Production Technology of these hybrids have also been standardized for getting maximum good quality seed under changing climate scenario.