Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) Guard Agricultural Research & Services (GUARD) has gone into open trial of its ‘Hybrid Basmati’ seed in a bid to provide disease-resistant, long grain aromatic traditional variety to paddy growers of Punjab with higher production per acre as compared to prevailing varieties. ‘We have sown our Hybrid Basmati variety over 50 acres of land in the core Basmati growing area such as Narowal, Gujranwala, Hafizabad etc and hope that the seed would give around 100 maund per acre as compared to prevailing varieties which are not producing more than 35-40 maund per acre,’ said an executive of the company Momin Ali Malik while talking to journalists at a ‘Field Day’ arranged in Kasur the other day. Momin said though the seed is in the initial phase of testing and may take another two to three years to be commercially marketed but we are very hopeful of its potential. He said that hybrid varieties of coarse rice have already made their mark especially in Sindh where growers are getting 130-140 maund per acres as compared to old varieties thus contributing to economic well being and prosperity of the rural folks of Sindh.

Farmers in Punjab especially in Southern region and in potato growing areas are also sowing hybrid coarse varieties with success for the last three years and this year one of the progressive grower even got 160 maund per acre. He said though we are the pioneer in introducing hybrid coarse rice but we also wanted to keep our traditions intact, our CEO Shahzad Ali Malik Sahib keeps Basmati dear to his heart, that was why our researchers in collaboration with the Chinese counterparts are working to introduce hybrid basmati variety with the same traits, basmati is known for, and better per acre yield.

General Manager Agri Division Rizwan Younis , Mr. Dai, Chinese expert from Longping High Tech and Area Sales Manager Muhammad Yasir of the company also spoke on this occasion and created awareness amongst the growers about Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) to get high per acre paddy yield.