PNS-NIAB Joint Seminar at NIAB, Faisalabad

Applications of Nuclear Techniques for the Development of Agriculture Sector in Pakistan

Pakistan Nuclear Society (PNS) organized a PNS-NIAB seminar on the Applications of Nuclear Techniques for the Development of Agriculture Sector in Pakistan on 27th December, 2021 at the Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (NIAB), Faisalabad which was attended by more than 120 scientists, engineers, researches, technologists as well as university students and teachers. Dr. Shahid Mahmood Baig, SI, Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) was the Chief Guest in the inaugural session. The seminar introduction was presented by Dr. Niaz Ahmad, Executive Member PNS. The welcome address was delivered by Dr. Yusuf Saleem, DCS, NIAB on behalf of Director NIAB. The introductory remarks were given by Dr. Muhammad Tahir Khaleeq, acting President PNS. He mentioned about various initiatives and activities carried out by PNS during 2021. He thanked PSF for providing financial assistance and PAEC for logistic support to conduct this seminar. Mr. Waqar A. Butt, Executive Member PNS shed light on the future programmes of PNS and encouraged the participants especially the youth to come forward and contribute in such fruitful ventures of PNS for sustainable socio-economicdevelopmentin the country.

In his presidential address, the Chief Guest, Dr. Shahid Baig recalled his lifelong experience and memories of working at NIBGE. He motivated the scientists and researchers to excel in the respective fields and play their part in national development. He elaborated various schemes under PSF for the promotion and advancement of S&T in the country and ensured all possible support from PSF in scientific initiative. He appreciated PNS for conducting various events for the peaceful uses of nuclear technology not only for awareness of the general public but also to engage senior scientists and technologists to contribute in such useful activities.

In the technical session, the first presentation was delivered by Dr. Yusuf Zafar, T.I, Former Chairman, Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) on the Challenges of Food Security in Pakistan. He elaborated on various aspects related to food security at national and international levels and stressed the need of promoting agriculture that is responsible for food security.

A recorded talk by Dr. Shahid Mansoor, S.I, Director NIBGE was displayed. The title of his presentation was New Breeding Technologies and other technology platforms for food and nutritional security. He stated recent ways to overcome food shortage by adopting technologies for enhancing genetic gains which include breeding, hybrid seed technology, mutations, genetic engineering, genomes, etc. Prof. Dr. Muhammad Mohsin Javed, Registrar, Virtual University of Pakistan gave an interesting talk on Scientist as Entrepreneur. He explained that the qualities of a researcher as data mining, data analyses, invention, innovation or exploration, problem solving and process development. On the other hand personal requirements of an entrepreneur are critical thinking, attention to detail, ability to work to deadlines, patience, ingenuity, creativity, strong oral written comprehension and conceptual mindset. The seminar talk of Dr. Tariq Mahmud Shah, Director NIAB was presented by Yusuf Saleem, DCS, NIAB on the Application of Nuclear Technologies in Agriculture. He spoke about the uses of various facilities at NIAB in which different aspects of nuclear techniques were described circumscribing conventional to mutation breeding, characteristics of mutant varieties, global scenario of mutation breeding, crop varieties developed by PAEC centers through Induced Mutations. The last talk was delivered by Dr. Uzma Maqbool, DCS/Head Animal Sciences Division, NIAB on the Use of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Environment Protection Issues. In her talk, she explained the use of nuclear techniques in agriculture, livestock, insects, and the environment for assessment and improvement of processes occurring within these systems.

The seminar concluded with the vote of thanks by Dr. Muhammad Mohsin, General Secretary PNS. He said that the Society is grateful to PSF for generously providing funds for holding its seminar in different cities of the country. Special thanks were paid to Chairman PSF for sparing his valuable time out of his very busy schedule. PAEC was also thanked for providing in kind support as most of the activities are carried out at PAEC Centers. He paid rich tribute to Dr. Uzma Maqbool and her team for appreciating arrangements to make the seminar a success.

Dr. Niaz Ahmad, Executive Member, PNS