The International Hybrid Wheat Conference 2023, convened by the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad,Pakistan launched on 23 February. The international platform gathered experts on the topic of wheat from different parts of the world, with the aim of finding innovative ways to overcome food insecurity and eradicating hunger and poverty. The main partners of the Conference included the University of Sydney, the Islamic Organization for Food Security, and The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.
The main topics of the first day of the Conference included scientific talks on: “Breaking the yield barrier through hybrid wheat,” “Pushing the boundaries of high-temperature tolerance in wheat.” This was followed by country case studies on Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Pakistan, and panel discussion on hybrid wheat.
The Islamic Organization for Food Security was represented by Professor Zulfiqar Ali. The Professor presented a speech on behalf of the Director General of IOFS, H.E. Prof. Yerlan Baidaulet and himself, on the topic of Hybrid Wheat for Food Security.
During the keynote address of the Director General of IOFS, Prof. Baidaulet emphasized, “Food security for OIC countries demands achieving the goal of producing 190 million tonnes of wheat within next few years. Today, I feel that achieving this target is scientifically possible. Hybrid wheat packaged with precise and innovative agronomic practices and quality seed supply chain has the potential to revolutionize wheat production and help to eradicate hunger and poverty.”
The IOFS Director General also highlighted the importance of future cooperation with the University of Agriculture Faisalabad in organizing joint activities aligned towards fulfilling scientific and technological needs of OIC Member States and capacity building activities in various areas of agriculture and food security. Specific proposals were made to exchange and scale-up technologies and best practices, including hybrid wheat for other wheat dependent countries. As well as prospects for collaboration were proposed for faculty and student exchange and other capacity building programs like Animal and Plant Genetic Resource Conservation, breeding programs, biotechnologies especially addressing climate change, soil health, pest control, malnutrition, value addition and other programs.