Extension agent in sustainable and organic agriculture Amjad Ahmad has been selected as the Hawai‘i representative for the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS), as well as secretary for the national chapter.
The NPGS, which partners with USDA ARS, is a collaborative effort to safeguard the genetic diversity of agriculturally important plants by collecting, conserving, analyzing, documenting, and distributing living plant material.
“Amjad’s involvement with NPGS/ARS is critical, since it connects CTAHR with US researchers and Extension professionals in terms of how new cultivars and genetics relate to food production,” says Jari Sugano, CTAHR’s O‘ahu County administrator. “This connection and collaboration benefits Hawai‘i by increasing the flow of research-based information and genetics coming into our island state. Amjad also serves as Hawai‘i’s advocate for local researchers and Extension professionals by radiating our scientific achievements in germplasm development for global impact.”
Amjad has his work cut out for him. The institute’s mission is “more essential than ever because the loss of genetic diversity is accelerating with threats from many factors including global urbanization, habitat changes associated with climate, and changes in land use related to population growth and economic development,” notes the NPGS website.