Up scaling seed of Ug99 resistant wheat varieties to ensure protection against stem rust in Pakistan
With ongoing threats of rust from both internal and international sources it has become a priority at CIMMYT and for Pakistan national programs to accelerate the rate of seed increase and to popularize new Pgt race Ug99 resistant varieties to avert future disasters. Seed of Ug99 resistant varieties NARC-11, Pak-2013, Dharabi-2011 and BARS-09 was produced under the Wheat Productivity Enhancement Program (WPEP). The country-wide participatory approach involves a partnership of farmers, seed companies and research institutes. In 2014 16,020 and 6,085 kg of seed of NARC-11 and Pak-13, respectively, were distributed all over the country, including Azad Jammu Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. Comparative yields across Pakistan show that the rust resistant varieties are equal, or superior, to current stem rust susceptible varieties grown by farmers. Deployment and use of these varieties by farmers in Balochistan will have a significant impact not only on productivity, but may also avert the consequences of possible introduction of race Ug99.