Atomic Energy Agricultural Research Centre (AEARC) Tando Jam was established in 1963 as a first institute of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission in agriculture in the province of Sindh. The main theme was to make peaceful uses of Atomic Energy in Agriculture. It was up-graded as Nuclear Institute of Agriculture (NIA) in 1998. At present, the institute performs its scientific activities in the disciplines of Plant Breeding & Genetics, Plant Protection, Soil Science and Plant Physiology.
NIA has developed 27 crop varieties for the province of Sindh in space and time. The varieties of wheat and rice cover more than 30-35% area in the province. Area under cotton and sugarcane varieties is gradually increasing; while in mungbean and lentil, the NIA has the only approved varieties for Sindh province. These varieties have a significant impact on national economy contributing more than 14221.542 million since release.
Nuclear Institute of Agriculture, Tando Jam has the pride of being first Agriculture Centre of PAEC, inaugurated at Tando Jam in 1963 as Atomic Energy Agriculture Research Centre and it was renamed as NIA, Tando Jam on its 35th anniversary in 1998. NIA started its research activities with the mandate of exploring potential use of isotopes and radiations for the improvement of agriculture. The main thrust of the institute's goal orientated program has been evolving better performing and widely adaptable crop varieties through conventional, induced mutation and in vitro culture techniques. As a result of dedicated and untiring efforts, it has clearly established a role for radiation induced mutation in crop improvement and has succeeded in evolving 25 varieties of different crops. Apart from evolution of crop varieties, NIA is also engaged in exploring, development and popularization of eco-friendly insect techniques like biological control, sterile insect techniques (SIT). The pest management techniques developed by NIA scientists widely adapted by growers, have lessen the insecticide use thus saving nature and coin. Maximization of crop productivity through innovative techniques, intensive cropping, better management practices and balanced fertilization is another objective of the NIA. Introduction of fertigation and foliar fertilization techniques proved to be the innovation because of economical fertilizer use for better crop harvest. Exploration of stress tolerance mechanism in different crops and biosaline agriculture for degraded lands has also provided remedial steps for problematic soils which can now be converted into profitable enterprise. The techniques like Fruito-Fix has been perfected by using growth regulators which significantly enhance the fruit retention in mango.
Heads of Divisions
Plant Breeding and Genetics Division
I. Plant breeding of following crops (in order of priority) for high yield, disease resistance, stress tolerance:
ii. Rice (coarse varieties only)
Notes: PBG Div. works out economics and practical feasibility of tissue-cultured
sugarcane and banana seedlings, in collaboration with private sector, to promote the
PBG Div. in collaboration with sugar mills and farmers, to evaluate performance of the
NIA-developed sugarcane varieties.
Plant Protection Division
I. Management of insect pests, in order of priority:
i. Sugarcane borers
ii. Fruitfly in Mango and Guava
iii. Cotton insect pests, Borers, mealybug
iv. Rice stem borer
II. Post-harvest losses in Cereal Grains & Pulses
III. Plant Pathology of NIA's mandate crops
Note: NIA-developed Bio-control Cards and Traps.
Soil Science Division
I. Micronutrient nutrition of crops
II. Integrated plant nutrient management
III. Fertigation: Field-level adaptability
IV. Utilization of salt-affected soils
V. Nutritional requirements of crop varieties evolved at NIA.
Plant Physiology Division
VI. Wheat and Rice crop germplasm screening for salt & drought tolerance
VII. Fruit-retention in Mango by phytohormone application
Technical Services Division
Repair and maintenance of physical infrastructure