19 August 2019 – CABI has signed a contract with the Crop Diseases Research Institute (CDRI) to help ensure greater food security in Pakistan by evaluating an eco-friendly biocontrol to mitigate poisonous aflatoxins which can decimate crops such as maize and wheat.
Aflatoxin Control in Pakistan is a public-private partnership program led by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), alongside a US company Ingredion and its subsidiary in Pakistan, Rafhan Maize Products Co. Ltd.
The collaboration also involves CABI and the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) as technical implementing partners. This partnership is working together to develop an indigenous biocontrol product, called AflaPak™, formulated specifically to reduce aflatoxin in maize grown in Pakistan.
The agreement was signed by Dr Babar Bajwa, Regional Director of CABI Central and West Asia, and Dr Anjum Munir, Director of the Crop Diseases Research Institute. Dr Munir is also the focal person nominated on behalf of National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) to manage project activities being conducted at the NARC.
Dr Shehzad Asad, Principal Scientific Officer NARC, Dr Muhammad Fayyaz, Senior Scientific Officer NARC, Dr Sabyan Faris Honey, Project Manager CABI, Dr Aamir Humayun Malik, Deputy Director Development CABI, Mr Abdul Rehman, Deputy Director Program CABI and Mr Zeeshan Butt, Finance Coordinator CABI also attended the meeting at CABI’s Rawalpindi office in Pakistan.
It was agreed that CABI will work together with the CDRI to evaluate the efficacy of AflaPak™ and build the capacity of it within Pakistan’s national agricultural system. This includes taking into account the stakeholders from agriculture departments, the private sector, academia and farmers on mitigation of aflatoxins and adoption of sustainable safer management approach like the use of biocontrol product.
Dr Bajwa explained that the Aflatoxin Control in Pakistan project is an exciting flagship program and as CDRI is the premier institute working on Crop Health Management in Pakistan.
“Working together on this biocontrol technology will lead to the growing of safer crops free from aflatoxins which will ultimately safeguard human health in the long term. This research is vital and could potentially be shared worldwide,” he said.
Dr Anjum Munir acknowledged the efforts of CABI in Pakistan and is looking forward to building strong ties for further collaboration in the future.
For more information, please contact:
Dr Sabyan Faris Honey
+92 (0)51 8434979 Ext. 143