MART-AZR Project Research Report 63: Germplasm Evaluation in Arid Highlands of Balochistan: Annual Report of the AZRI Germplasm Research Group 1989/90
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Sarfraz Ahmad, Asghar Ali, Roider Khan, Dyno (J. D. H. ) Keatinge. (28/3/1990). MART-AZR Project Research Report 63: Germplasm Evaluation in Arid Highlands of Balochistan: Annual Report of the AZRI Germplasm Research Group 1989/90. Punjab, Pakistan: Arid Zone Research Institute**.
Almost 60% of the cultivated area of Balochistan depends wholly on the winter and monsoon rains, which are scanty and erratic. Crop yields are severely limited in most years by water deficits, but low winter temperatures can also be a severe constraint. The local crop varieties have rather limited genetic potentials for yield, disease resistance, and performance stability in this very variable, harsh environment. Improvements in yield and production can be attained by practices that improve the moisture supply, such as water harvesting, and by the selection and evaluation of improved varieties better adapted to drought and cold stresses and other environmental fluctuations. Due to the rapid increase in population. and the decreasing opportunities for intensive cropping in the limited irrigated areas, a well planned research strategy is essential for the best utilization of these rainfed areas. Aware of the vital importance to Balochistan of rainfed agriculture, the Arid Zone Research Institute (AZRI), based in Quetta has been conducting wheat, barley, lentil, and forage legume improvement program for the rainfed highlands of this area. Progress made during the last five years of germplasm evaluation work is summarised in Germplasm Evaluation Highlights from 1984-89 (Ali et al., 1989). Details of the progress made in the 1989/90 growing season is presented here.