ISLAMABAD: The first-ever production of kidney bean varieties at commercial level will commence soon as the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (Parc) will release six new varieties of common bean varieties in the country.

According to a Parc report made available to Dawn on Friday, the achievement is part of the promotion of common bean cultivation in Pakistan under the five-year project for the promotion of research for productivity enhancement in pulses launched in 2019. The project has been funded by the Public Sector Development Programme with an amount of Rs1,437 million.

The report says shuttle multiplication has been proposed for the promotion of kidney beans in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the spring season and upper regions in the kharif season.

Scientists engaged in the pulse project say Pakistan has become self-sufficient in moong bean as its production was recorded at 267,000 tonnes against the national requirement of 180,000 tonnes.

The major focus of the project is to achieve self-sufficiency in pulses production by increasing the yield of major pulse crops, including chickpea, lentil, moong, mash and kidney beans, by 30 per cent.

Under the umbrella project, till now 3,792 lines have been tested throughout the country in 25 different locations through national uniform yield trials to evaluate and select promising lines for varieties development.

As the country was facing acute shortage of quality seed of pulses, basic and pre-basic seed production has been carried out on about 1,107 acres through which 6,553 tonnes of seed has been produced and distributed among the farmers.

Parc officials say availability of quality seed of improved cultivars is the prime contributing factor towards achieving self-sufficiency in pulses. To ensure this, varietal trials have been conducted in different agro-climatic zones of the country and the seed of identified best varieties was distributed among the farmers.

Published in Dawn, January 22nd, 2022

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