Despite funds release, AARI fails to develop climate resilient OPVs of vegetables

LAHORE: Despite funds release by the Punjab Agriculture Department, the Ayub Agricultural Research Institute (AARI), Faisalabad failed to complete a project regarding development of hybrids and open-pollinated varieties (OPVs) of vegetables resilient to climate change.

According to the documents available with Pakistan Today, the project was started to improve vegetable farming technology, specify responsibilities for better output and divide research activities on crops according to their production areas.

The project was started in October 2019 with a gestation period of 36 months and cost of the project PC-I was estimated to be Rs250 million.

The documents stated that the project will benefit at large the vegetable growers, farmers and public & private seed sector. Initially the project was started in Faisalabad, Layyah and Sahiwal.

As per the documents, there was a gap between actual physical and planned physical progress of 55 percent and also the utilization of funds was quite slow resulting in slow progress of this project.

The documents also stated that despite 76 percent funds released only 37 percent were utilized and the project was bound to complete after 3 months.

“Physical progress is also lagging behind and it will not be possible to complete the project within 3 months. Botanists for the project could not be hired yet resulting in the slow progress of research work. Estimated Cost of Polycarbonate Tunnel was Rs50 million as per PC I but department now said it will be possible only to be completed in Rs105.3 million,” documents stated.

Ali Hassan who is the assistant botanist Vegetable Research Station Karor Layyah, informed Pakistan Today that in fact the hiring process on the project was slow due to which the project was delayed.

 

Shahab Omer
The writer is a member of the staff and can be reached on [email protected]

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