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Asian Journal of Plant Sciences
Year: 2006  |  Volume: 5  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 296 - 299

Suitability of Indigenous Maize Hybrids for Spring Planting in Pakistan

M. Hussain, S.R. Chughtai, H.I. Javed, H.N. Malik and A. Saleem    

Abstract: Maize, the leading world cereal, offers the greatest potential for increasing food productivity in countries like Pakistan. The average yield in Pakistan is low compared to the world average. An effective short term strategy to improve maize productivity is to replace the local low yielding varieties and landraces with high yielding hybrids. However, mainly due to very high cost of the imported hybrid seed in Pakistan, the hybrid technology has not been adopted on larger scales. Currently, 25% of the maize area is under hybrids in Pakistan. Therefore, there is a great need to develop, popularize and adopt maize hybrids with indigenous blood. Indigenous hybrids for agro-ecological zones not attended by the private multinational have been developed at National Agricultural Research Centre and tested in the respective ecologies. Six selected indigenous hybrids (NARC-2701, NARC-2702, NARC-2703, NARC-2704, NARC-2705, NARC-2707) were evaluated at two location during spring season. Four leading commercial hybrids (Bemisal-202, 3335, 2303 and 6525 from Engro, Pioneer, Rafhan and Monsanto) were used as checks for comparison. Some of the indigenously developed hybrids (NARC-2702, NARC-2703, NARC-2704, NARC- 2705) performed better than, or as good as their exotic counterparts. These hybrids exhibited desired idiotypes as indicated by plant and ear heights. The indigenous hybrids were earlier in maturity than the commercial checks. These results clearly indicate the superiority and suitability of locally developed (indigenous) maize hybrids for spring planting in Pakistan.

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