Zinc biofortification of wheat combats low crop productivity

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STAFF REPORT FBD: For enhancing awareness about the important of Zinc, a National Zinc Day has recently organized by Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission at Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (NIAB), Faisalabad. The event was sponsored by Harvest Zinc Fertilizer Project, being executed by NIAB since 2008. More than 250 farmers, agronomists, medical doctors, food technologists; fertilizer, food and feed industry personnel, agriculture extension experts, and postgraduate students from all over the country participated.
Director NIAB, Dr. Javed Akhtar, highlighted the significance of zinc deficiency problem in edible crops and the RandD efforts made by PAEC to address this issue of national importance.
Coordinator of HarvestZinc Fertilizer Project informed that widespread zinc deficiency in Pakistani soils and crops plants is causing productivity losses and the edible crop produce contain inadequate zinc content, which leads to zinc malnutrition in resource-poor human populations as well as in animals.
Prof. Dr. Zulfiqar Ahmad Bhutta of Aga Khan University, Karachi, deaths of 23 per cent infants in Pakistan are caused by zinc malnutrition.
He also advocated for enhancing zinc content in edible crops, especially staple cereals, like wheat.
Vice Chancellor of University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Prof Dr. Talat Naseer Pasha, addressed the burning issue of serious health problems in animals because of zinc malnutrition and elaborated on the farmer-friendly strategies for improving the deplorable situation.


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