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Pakistan develops two new varieties of banana

Pakistan has achieved a breakthrough in banana production, as the country’s apex agricultural research institution has developed two varieties of the fruit for cultivation in Sindh.

“The new varieties — NIGAB-1 and NIGAB-2 — will boost banana production in the country, which will further help in meeting domestic requirements as well as export targets,” said Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Chairman Dr Muhammad Azeem Khan. He lauded the scientists involved in the development of NIGAB varieties.

According to details, the new varieties of banana were developed at the National Institute for Genomic and Advanced Biotechnology (NIGAB) of the National Agricultural Research Centre, where 300,000 disease-free plants have so far been produced through tissue culture reports

These high-yielding varieties will have more shelf life, a basic requirement for export.

The two varieties have been approved by the Sindh Seed Council for commercial cultivation in the province, which is the largest grower of the fruit in the country.

Statistics showed that banana is cultivated over an area of 80,000 acres in Pakistan. However, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, per-acre yield in Pakistan is lower when compared to India and China, which produce more than ten tonnes per acre.


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