Wheat is the most important staple cereal crop in Pakistan and its annual production level has a great influence on economy of the country. Out of 8.4 Mha total wheat area, about 20% is rainfed. Wheat production in rainfed areas is far lesser compared to the irrigated areas, and specific type of wheat varieties are required for rainfed ecologies.
The NARC wheat scientists have developed two wheat varieties, namely Margalla-99 suitable for rainfed areas of Punjab and ICT and Wafaq for all rainfed areas of Pakistan. Yield potential of both the varieties (Margalla-99 and Wafaq) is 5–6 tonnes/ha under rainfed conditions. The varieties also give good yield in medium and low rainfall areas, and possess good resistance against various diseases prevalent in the target ecologies/areas. Both the varieties also meet the required quality standards of a variety to be recommended/released in the country.
The new varieties will replace the old, low yielding varieties in the rainfed areas and the farmers’ income in the area will be enhanced sustainability. Release of these wheat varieties will help enhance wheat production in the county and will bring wheat sufficiency particularly in rainfed areas of the country.
Anonymous. (2001). Minutes of Variety Evaluation Committee Meetings held on 03-11-1999 and 06-10-2001.