The Punjab Seed Council (PSC) has approved the first ever quinoa variety, a super food titled Q7, which was developed by the UAF scientists.
This variety is developed by the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) scientist Dr Shahzad Maqsood Basra and his team including Dr Irfan Afzal.
This was announced by UAF Vice Chancellor Muhammad Ashraf at a Memorandum of Understanding ceremony between UAF and Shandong Normal University China (SDNU) to establish Quinoa Breeding Centre in both universities.
According to the agreement, adaptability trials of each other’s quinoa germ plasm will also be carried out. It was also agreed that faculty and students exchange programs would be initiated in the project, in addition to exchange of scientific materials, publications, and other information.
Muhammad Ashraf speaking on the occasion said that quinoa is one of the world’s most popular health foods.
He said quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein, fibre, vitamin B, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants.
He further said, “Pakistan-China agriculture ties will help combat daunting issues including low productivity, post-harvest losses, value additions and farm machinery, meant to ensure food security and alleviate poverty.”
The UAF and Chinese universities are jointly working on the different projects including heat-tolerant cotton and wheat varieties.
He said that China has adopted a model of small scaled implements for small farmers, which was a hallmark step.